‘The Hate U Give’ One of 2018’s Best Films

Angie Thomas's young adult novel lives up to the hype on the big screen.

Jojo Clark, Staff Writer

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The world renown rapper Tupac Shakur once broke down the term T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. “The hate u give little infants (explicit) everybody,” Tupac said. His message was finally worked into a movie ‘The Hate U Give’ directed by George Tillman Jr and based off Angie Thomas’s groundbreaking novel about a young black teenager who faces these hardships first hand.

The movie is narrated by Starr Carter, portrayed perfectly by Amandla Stenberg, a 16 year old African American girl. The film opens with Starr recalling her father, Maverick (played by Russell Hornsby), giving the “talk” to Starr and her brothers, about what to do when you are pulled over by a police officer.

As a teenager, Starr uncomfortably straddles two opposing worlds- the mostly black/lower end community of Garden Heights, which she calls home, and Williamson Prep, the luxurious mainly white private school, where she and her siblings, Seven (Lamar Johnson) and Sekani (Tj Wright), attend school. She tries her hardest to keep both worlds separate, hiding her white boyfriend, Chris (played very well by K.J. Apa), from her father-Maverick- while also hiding her own actions and thoughts at school. Surprisingly, black gestures make her white classmates cool, while slang makes her “hood.”

Both worlds finally collide, when she attends a local neighborhood party and runs into old childhood friend Khalil (played by Algee Smith). Khalil then gives Starr a ride home from the party because of a random shooting. He eventually pulls over and they talk, finally getting some peace and quiet.

Simultaneously, a young white police officer appears. Starr then remembers Maverick’s instructions and keeps her hands in sight and stays in the car. Khalil, now outside of the car, reaches back into the car to check on Starr and grabs a hairbrush that the officer then mistakes for a gun. Bang!

Awestruck, Starr and the officer are the only ones who really know what happened the night of Khalil’s death.

Most movies usually don’t live up to the hype of the book, but I’d say that this is one that did.  The Hate U Give keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole movie.  Although, the movie differs from the book, the overall message was still intact.

Walking out of the theater, I was very pleased with how Tillman directed this movie. His choice of character portrayal throughout the movie was excellent. The only dramatic twist was the ending, but I won’t give away any spoilers.