42 - that's a magic number and it is a very educational/emotional film. Jackie Robinson wore 42 and changed baseball forever. He could blast a ball, catch impossible hits, and steal bases faster than a person could blink. And he was black. Black, African-American, Negro - back when segregation was the norm and blacks played in the Negro Baseball League.
It's quite a story and the movie, 42, handles the "issues" with dignity - no preachiness. Jackie Robinson, as played by Chadwick Boseman (superb) is a man first and a very talented baseball player second. Because he had to rise above ignorance, taunts, and teammates who weren't keen on this "new" baseball - Jackie Robinson was a pillar of strength.
Branch Rickey, who managed the Brooklyn Dodgers, wasn't setting out to create upheaval. He just saw an injustice and wanted it righted. Behind a ton of makeup, Harrison Ford chomps a cigar and sets an example for his team. He chooses Robinson because he saw a very talented player who exuded confidence, calm, and an ability to slowly rally his teammates. Fortunately, Robinson had a strong wife behind him, and the desire to play ball well.
This is a movie about strength of character. It's a movie that makes you, the audience, think about what it took to travel to towns that didn't want you in their hotels or in their ballpark. It makes you think about how much abuse can a person take and not break?
42 is an excellent movie that entertains and makes you think. It is right and cool that every year, players wear 42 on their jerseys and can only hope to live up to the standard that Jackie Robinson set - as a man and a baseball player.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.