The Hate U Give (Movie Review)

The Hate U Give is based on the book of the same name written by Angie Thomas and published last year, February. Both are about the main character, Starr Carter, and the actions she takes on after witnessing her childhood friend get shot at the hands of a police officer. Both the film and book focus on how she copes through the reality of what she witnessed and the steps that she takes in trying to prevent something like that from happening again. The Hate U Give is a story of activism, friendship, police brutality, family, gangs and most importantly: THUG LIFE.

I just saw this movie last night. I read the book last year and once I heard there was a movie coming, I just knew I had to go see it. I had wanted to see it during the early screenings but college doesn’t work like that, so I’ve had multiple exams and quizzes every week for the past month or so. I just got through a big exam Thursday and I decided Friday would be as good a time as any to go out and see The Hate U Give.

My mom and I went together and it was just the best time. She loves stuff like that nearly as much as I do.

The pacing of this film was absolutely terrific. There was never a dull moment and they made sure to be concise while still adding points of character development. The eye before the storm moments fit the film’s pace really well. I felt like the conversation flowed naturally and the scene transitions were done at the right moments.

I feel like this film was more plot-driven, which is something I personally prefer. I love seeing action take place and how people react to those events. That being said, Starr is by far the main focus of the film. She’s quite literally the Starr of the show. *hits drum* The family dynamic was also lovely. It was great to see a black family eating dinner together and having a good time.

As far as the story’s structure goes, there are a ton of parallels between the book and the movie. Nevertheless, you do not have to read the book to understand what’s going on. My mom hadn’t read the book and she was able to follow along with the story pretty well. There is a part near the end where the movie takes a completely different turn, there are also characters from the book that have little or no significant role to play in the movie which is often the case in adaptations like these. I feel like these were more due to time constraints than anything else.

I loved the film and the turns it took, but that does not mean I am without complaint. I know it’s been raised quite a few times before, but I agree with those who have said that the role of Starr should’ve been cast to someone darker. I feel like choosing Amandla Stenberg was more for name recognition, but that doesn’t negate the fact that colorism is a real issue when it comes to casting for movies like this.

I also didn’t like the fact that DeVante wasn’t included in the film. I feel like he had a really important role in the book and he was also one of my favorite characters. The film compensated for it in their own way and I think it was a matter of time and extra casting, so I understand why he wasn’t added. I just would have loved to see him on the screen.

Overall, I enjoyed seeing The Hate U Give and I would definitely encourage anyone who is on the fence about it to just go and see it. It’s a great movie based on a great book.


Author: Rachelle Saint Louis

Rachelle Saint Louis is a Haitian-American writer, born and raised in South Florida. She received a 2018 Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for her poem “Red Blood Cell.” She is currently a Psychology and English double major at Florida Atlantic University. Her poetry has been published in Rigorous Magazine. Rachelle has been writing poetry since the 7th grade and you can often find her performing Spoken Word at local open mics.

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