What it's about:
22-year-old Oscar Grant (Michael B Jordan) wakes up on the morning of 31 December 2008 and decides that this is the day that his life will change forever, that he must change his life for good. He gets rid of his dagga stash, he tries to get his old job back and he goes about making this his mother's (Octavia Spencer) best birthday yet. Later that evening he and his girlfriend (Melonia Diaz), who is also the mother of his 4-year-old daughter, decide to take the a train ride into the city for new year's eve that will change their lives forever.
What we thought:
Based on a true story which made international headlines, Fruitvale Station tells the riveting story of 22-year-old Oscar Grant who was killed by a police officer at the Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station.
Whether you know the story or not, Fruitvale Station will grab you from the very opening scene. Shot in a point of view style, we follow Oscar Grant as he gets up on the morning of 31 December 2008. The glimpse into Oscar's life feels so real that you find yourself in his shoes for most of the film. You are there every step of the way as Oscar decides to better his life and be a better person.
Having been in prison, Oscar decides that enough is enough. We see him throwing out his dagga stash, trying to get his old job back and also just being a generally good person. He organises his mother's birthday, he takes his daughter to day care, he picks her up, he just goes about daily things that need to be done.
Later that evening, Oscar and his girlfriend decide to take a train into he city with friends for new year's eve, but when they return, things go horribly wrong. A guy who was an enemy of Oscar while he was in prison, recognises Oscar on the train which causes a scuffle. This results in police detaining Oscar and his friends at the next stop. Based on real life events and actual video that surfaced of what happened next, you get a glimpse of how a simple misunderstanding can turn into something fatal, how authority, if not being used responsibly, can hurt people and strip them of their basic human rights.
Produced by Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi, and directed by Ryan Coogler, his first feature-length film, Fruitvale Station is a brutally honest adaptation of a real-life event. It will make you shed quite a few tears, and also make you angry at injustice. And whether you're a person who hides from the bad stuff that happens in the world, or one that feels the need to see it all, this film will definitely make you feel some raw emotion.
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