The Help” Movie Review: Navigating the Tumultuous Waters of 1960s Mississippi through Empathy and Courage

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Updated: Sep 15, 2023
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Hey there, film enthusiasts! If you want to watch a film to evoke strong emotions and get those mental gears turning, “The Help” is where you should set your sights. It’s powerful, poignant, and oh-so-relevant. So, buckle up because we’re about to dissect the cinematic masterpiece.

A Journey into the Past

First off, let’s set the stage. We’re in the early 1960s, right in Jackson, Mississippi. Picture the landscape of the time: a society deeply entrenched in racial divisions and prejudices.

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It’s against this tumultuous backdrop that our story unfolds. And what a tale it is!

  1. Backdrop Brilliance

The movie transports you to an era where racial segregation wasn’t just an undercurrent but a glaring, in-your-face reality. Through the lives of Aibileen and Minny, two Black maids, and Skeeter, a young white woman who has an agenda of her own, we’re given a front-row seat to the challenges, hopes, and dreams of the era, and people of two different worlds who lived in it.

  1. Words: Mightier Than The Sword

“The Help” isn’t shy about emphasizing the weight of words. Skeeter’s wild idea? Write a book about life from the maids’ perspectives. A simple concept, yet one filled with many potential pitfalls. The emerging narratives – raw, heartbreaking, and sometimes sprinkled with humor – showcase words as the ultimate game-changers.

  1. Complex Race Relations

The movie’s portrayal of race relations isn’t just black and white (pun intended). We see prejudices, yes, but also moments of genuine connection, heartfelt warmth, and true friendship. Relationships between the maids and their employers are complicated, teetering between genuine affection and stark power dynamics.

  1. Civil Rights Movement & Its Resounding Echoes

“The Help,” while primarily a work of fiction, reverberates with the ethos of the Civil Rights Movement. Through its characters, storyline, and dialogue, we get a taste of the intense racism soaking through the American nation at the time. But, more importantly, the film shows us the shimmering glimmers of hope, courage, and change beneath the surface.

  1. The Help’s Heroes: Digging Deeper

  • Aibileen Clark: A wise, experienced maid who’s seen it all. Yet, her resilience shines through, reminding us of the silent strength many carried during those controversial times.
  • Minny Jackson: A feisty, take-no-nonsense kind of woman. Her journey, riddled with humor and tragedy, adds depth to the movie’s engaging narrative.
  • Eugenia ‘Skeeter’ Phelan: A young white woman set on making a change. Her role underscores the power of allyship in challenging oppressive systems.
  1. Bite-sized Insights

  • Raise your voice: One of the key messages? The importance of speaking out against oppression no matter the hardships.
  • Cherish connections: Even in a segregated society, relationships have moments of genuine compassion.
  • Individual impact: Every single person has the power to bring about societal change in ways both small and big.
  1. A Glimpse at Realities Beyond the Silver Screen

One of the astounding elements of “The Help” is its ability to draw parallels next to today’s world. While it’s based in the 60s, several aspects of the story resonate with modern audiences.

  • Subtle Realities: Beyond the apparent racial undertones, the movie delves into issues of domestic abuse, socio-economic disparities, and the challenge of breaking free from traditional roles. These aspects emphasize the multifaceted nature of societal norms and their implications on individual lives.
  • The Media’s Role: Skeeter’s determination to get the stories of the maids published underlines the media’s power in shaping public opinion. This theme is strikingly relevant today, given our digital age, where information and stories spread like wildfire. It’s a nudge to ensure that narratives, especially those from marginalized communities, are shared and amplified.
  • Human Connections in Divisive Times: One can’t help but notice the importance of forging genuine connections in divisive times. Whether it’s Aibileen’s and Mae Mobley’s bond or Skeeter’s evolving relationship in the maids’ room, the film beautifully captures the human spirit’s resilience amidst adversity.

Reeling it In The Final Scoop

All right, folks, let’s wrap it all up. “The Help” is not your run-of-the-mill drama flick. It’s a mirror in front of society, reflecting its ugly prejudices and inherent capacity for change. There’s much to unpack here, whether it’s the memorable characters, the emotion-packed narrative, or the nuanced portrayal of 1960s America.

Essentially, “The Help” is a testament to the power of stories and words. It reminds us of the importance of understanding, empathy, and courage in adversity. So, next time you’re looking for a film that’s both heart-rending and thought-provoking, give the movie a whirl. And as you dive into the tumultuous world of Jackson, Mississippi, remember to let it stir your soul and open your eyes to the world around you. Happy watching!

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The Help" Movie Review: Navigating the Tumultuous Waters of 1960s Mississippi Through Empathy and Courage. (2023, Sep 15). Retrieved from