Review of “Twelve Years a Slave”

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The film “Twelve Years a Slave” is based on a real story of Solomon Northup, a free black man living in Saratoga, New York who later was tricked, kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. The film is full of emotions, intellectual, tricks, deceive, sufferings, tragic, support, hope and courage. The main theme of the movie is slavery that is mainly focused to show the brutality of whites over black slave and some of many bad experiences that black slaves went through their life. The characters playing the role of slaves did full justice to their role and the director McQueen did the great job to make audience know and feel the life that every black slave was forced to live. The film also shows the human fortune.

The film was released in 2013, but the book was first published in 1853. The film is a pure example of genre drama. The story begins with Solomon Northup living happy life with his wife and children as a free and respected person. After being deceived and kidnapped by two con-artists who guaranteed him to give work, however consequently he was drugged, locked in chains, violently beaten, stripped of his identity and shipped to New Orleans to be sold into slavery. This is where Solomon Northup’s twelve years of slavery started. The scene of being drugged and sold into slavery shows the level of durativity human nature that could reach just for their own sake. After being sold, he was handed to several owners. The first owner William Ford was civilized and kind, but the masters oversees were afraid of Northup’s smartness and they even wanted to kill him, which lead Northup to run away and soon sold to another master for whom he worked his last few years. His master Edwin Epps was a proud and cruel person. The film described Epps character as a drunkard and lust. He considers slaves as a piece of his property and treats them as his wish. He also uses his women slaves as a tool of enjoyment and for his sexual satisfaction. On the other hand, Epps wife is a cruel lady who was always offended by her husband’s behavior and treats bad to the women whom her husband likes the most. The scene where the master’s wife hits Patsey and later Patsey begs Platt (Solomon Northup) to kill herself can clearly address the situation of a women slave being raped by her master and hatred by master’s wife was worse than death. Other many such moment for example, when Patsey went to another master’s plantation, she was beaten up to death by Epps. Over that, Solomon was forced to beat his own close friend. We, people living normal free life cannot even imagine how painful was that for a man beating his own fellow slave. The film showed other many tragic that slaves went through except beaten to death and working from dusk to dawn. Separation of their beloved family, lack of food and spending every moment being scared and stressed about what is sad happening next in life. There is a scene when Solomon breaks his violin where he has written his families names. Such act of Solomon shows that he already left his hopes that he will be back to his wife and families like before for his rest of his life. No humans, normal humans and so far no criminals ever deserve such punishments that black slaves went through. The film obviously make audience feel and understand how slaves felt back during the 1800s.

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The film somewhere indicates about what trusting any random person brings into our life. The country where slavery was the one and only profession of blacks, Solomon Northup was lucky enough to be free, and blessed with good job and family. Suddenly, His fortune brings two con-artist in his life. He trusted their words that became the reason to get sneezed his freedom, love and family and pushed him towards the darkest years of his life that he never thought of living. While living his slave life, he met many people in his way. His trust once again made him scared when he trusted Armsby, a white guy who always wanted to be overseas of master Epps. Solomon trusted Armsby and requested him to deliver the letter that he wrote to his friends in the North for his freedom. Here, Armsby could not keep his words and played his dirty politics. He told master Epps what Platt (Solomon) was planning to do. Solomon somehow manages to save himself from Epps’s punishment, but he loses the chance to get his freedom back. He was very stressed and hopeless after the incidence. The incidence explains how someone’s disloyalty affect our hopes and actions. As Solomon was educated and smart, he knew his way to freedom but was in the hand of wrong person. He was waiting for a right person to act upon his plans. Fortunately, he met a Canadian white guy who treats every person equally. Unlike other white people, he was a decent, kind and helpful. He always looks to every person from God’s eyes. He believes that god has created every human being equal and similar. The man was always against slavery and discrimination so, he risked his life and helped Solomon get his freedom back. Solomon trusted right person and got back his freedom, love and family this time. His trust towards some random person took his freedom away from him and also his trust towards another random person brings his freedom back to him.

The film “Twelve Years a Slave” is worth watching. The story is shown as real as possible. The film teaches its audience not to lose hope at any situation of our life. The film has the most painful and unhappiest happy ending. Solomon was able to be free again but other slaves who were suffering as equal as Solomon were still living miserable life.

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Review of “Twelve Years a Slave”. (2021, Oct 21). Retrieved from

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