Monday, December 26, 2011

A Raisin In the Sun

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Directed by Daniel Petrie

Written by Lorraine Hansberry

Based on the play by  Lorraine Hansberry

Stars: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeill, Ruby Dee, Louis Gossett Jr., Diana Sands, Ivan Dixon, John Fiedler and Stephen Perry

I wanted to give all my readers and my sister-in-law a nice After Christmas present, me reviewing a black movie. It's a miracle, everyone. Rejoice!

Anyway, I hear about A Raisin in the Sun for a while now. I always wanted to see it, but I never got the chance to until recently. I am so glad that I did.

Three generations of the Younger family are living in a cramped two bedroom Chicago apartment. Walter (Poitier) tries to make sense of his place in the family unit when a business of investing in a chain of liquor come up. He needs the money to put in a down payment. The only he could get that is from the insurance money that would be given to his mother, Lena (McNeil). The Younger family try any way they can to get out of the muck they are stuck in.

Being that this was play adapted to the screen, I did not feel that it was just a play translated to screen. It felt raw, real and uncompromising with the desperation that these people are feeling to get out of their circumstances. You wonder who do they not kill each other?

The performances of the main actors were great, except  I had some troubles with Poitier. His movements felt over-dramatic sometimes. He originated the role on the theatrical production. It shows on the screen. I though that Claudia McNeil was a tour de force at the matriarch of the family. You felt her pain and anguish of see her husband die, her daughter being lost to the world and her son struggle to the man of the family.

This is a fantastic piece of work that should have gotten a lot more attention than it did.

My Rating:

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