“The Hate U Give” [Review]

Sansan Liang, Contributing Writer

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Along with the “Fault in Our Stars” and “Love, Simon” comes another ground-breaking major motion picture, “The Hate U Give.” This film, based on a best-selling novel by Angie Thomas, takes the audience into the life of the main character, Starr Carter, skillfully played by Amandla Stenberg, as she navigates through her life with two contrasting identities: Garden Heights Starr and Williamson Prep Starr.

(Photo via Oldaintdead.com)
“The Hate U Give” is a powerful film about race and relationships worth both watching and having discussions about with family and friends.

Garden Heights is a predominantly black neighborhood where Starr grew up and now lives. She and her brothers, Seven (Lemar Johnson) and Sekani (TJ Wright), attend Williamson Preparatory School because her parents want their kids to be safe. As a result of the contrasting worlds Starr inhabits, she says she has two separate versions of herself.

The film revolves around serious topics that involve violence, racism, and police brutality. A scene that involves all three topics is one to be noted. One night, Starr and Khalil (Algee Smith), Starr’s best friend, are driving home from a party when they are pulled over by a white police officer. Despite having done nothing wrong, Khalil is told to get out and put his hands on the roof of the car. As the police officer walks back to his cruiser, Khalil reaches into his car to grab his hairbrush. He pulls it out and begins to brush his hair but, as he does, the officer immediately fires and shoots Khalil twice, killing him instantly.

This scene shines light on police brutality and the violence and hate between human beings. Even as a coming-of-age movie, the film incorporates issues such as injustice towards the black community, the protests for equal rights like Black Lives Matter, and many more topics focusing on diversity. “If you don’t see color, you don’t see me,” Starr says to her boyfriend, Chris (K.J. Apa).

However, even though this film covers heavy topics, many lighthearted moments can be found. For example, Seven and Chris bring jokes that ease the tension throughout the movie.

Collider News states, “The Hate U Give is a rarity—a ‘message film’ that tackles difficult subject matter, but that’s also incredibly entertaining.” “The Hate U Giveis a movie not to miss, and a story that is worth the telling.

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