I love watching movies that are based on true stories, but not all historical films turn out very good. Luckily, Hidden Figures happens to be on the good side of things. This film is about black female scientists who worked with NASA in it’s infancy to put the first American astronauts into space. I found the film to be very uplifting and informative and all the lead actresses brought unique confidence to the portrayal of their real life characters.
Taraji has proven to be a powerhouse actress in everything she does.
Taraji P. Henson, the lead actress, is recently known for playing Cookie Lyon on ‘Empire’. Going in to the movie I wasn’t sure how she would do with such a historical role. After watching, I have to say that Taraji has proven to be a powerhouse actress in everything she does. Henson alongside Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe play three highly intelligent mathematicians who prove to be vital in the development of NASA and the space program and all have great chemistry on screen and there is one particular scene that I will discuss more in the spoilers.
Hidden figures is a play on mathematics and finding new solutions, but it also means these women are hidden figures in history that deserve be revealed.
The film highlights how race and gender politics were very discriminatory, creating a daily obstacle for women of color in the 60’s. Race was looming over every scene. At the time, people of color were never permitted to incorporate into society at such a high level. These women were the first, which is why I am glad they did the story justice. Hidden figures is a play on mathematics and finding new solutions, but it also means these women are hidden figures in history that deserve be revealed.
It did not feel like a documentary, but there were some moments where I wanted less scientific information and more character development. I enjoyed how the film began, but I wanted that section extended. Mahershala Ali plays Henson’s love interest, but his character wasn’t as important to the storyline as his role in Moonlight. Mahershala Ali and Janelle Monáe were both also in Moonlight, so congrats to these two for performing in two Oscar nominated films this year.
Hidden Figures is a film that needed to be made. This story was literally hidden until this film came out. If you have not seen Hidden Figures yet, watch the trailer above, and tell us what you think.
* SPOILERS *
The scene I referred to with the three women earlier, is the scene with the police officer when they have car trouble. As the cop drives up slowly I was worried that these women would become victims but the opposite happened. At first they were stereotyped, but their occupation saved them. The cop was so impressed with NASA and against Russia that he gave them a police escort. They said in the car that it was a miracle, and that is exactly how I felt about it.
What I felt was most important to the film are the scenes where race was handled directly. For example, when the director of the space program found out why Katherine (Taraji P. Henson) was late or absent. It was because there was no colored bathroom inside the building or any near by. The director realizes how fucked up that is and proceeds to integrate all bathrooms by beating down the colored restroom sign.
More subtle moments like John Glenn, the astronaut, publicly thanking and shaking hands with these women was great to see.
So what did you think of Hidden Figures? Would you watch it again? Rate the film and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Hidden Figures is like a historic retelling of black women who who changed the game and worked for NASA. A behind the scenes look at this story felt like it was literally hidden until this film came out. Great story, even a learning tool. Not quite a tear jerker, but the emotion was there.