'42', starring emerging actor Chadwick Boseman made unexpected profits on opening weekend, but the reasons behind its success might be more complicated than you'd expect.
There is no doubt at this point that “42”, the Jackie Robinson biopic that aims to tackle racism and segregation in American history, has completely surpassed all expectations for opening weekend profits. This weekend, it seems to have continued its hot streak. But what exactly is it about “42” that makes viewers flock to the theatre and, more importantly, enjoy the actual movie while they’re there? 42 certainly has a few things going for it.
As a historical drama, the film’s pacing is somewhat slow and deliberate, but it never fails to provide the crucial moment of comic relief where needed. Jackie Robinson’s story is told with surprising accuracy and, the issues of race and segregation are tackled with enough honesty to not pander to the audience. In addition, the emerging young star Chadwick Boseman gives enough layers and depth to the character of Robinson, that this overwhelmingly positive character doesn’t seem boring or one-sided. And lastly, Harrison Ford’s wry, full-blooded portrayal of Branch Rickey is just thoroughly entertaining.
This movie doesn’t impress with a gimmick and it doesn’t really fit into any of the popular genres – fairytale reimagining, high tech action flick, etc. – that we’re used to seeing take the box office by storm. Instead, it aims to give the viewer a different kind of experience – the satisfaction of seeing a story slowly unfold and experiencing every second alongside the characters. If you’re interested in seeing 42, you can catch the trailer below.
Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart attend the "42" premiere in LA.