Hidden Figures

Michaela Korges, Cactus Writer

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Hidden Figures is an inspirational drama that addresses some difficult subjects such as discrimination and civil rights. The movie follows three African American women who work for NASA in the 1960’s and face barriers and discrimination when they try to excel in their respective fields. The main characters are separated on screen more than one might think but each of their stories has the same theme about overcoming prejudice and struggling with unfair laws. The movie is somewhat similar in style to The Help but it feels more optimistic and has a little bit more humor. The overarching theme is a message about respect for minorities that means just as much today as it did half a century ago. The main downfall of this movie is that some subtlety is sacrificed in the first and second act in order to get the message across, but the sacrifice was worth it and is quickly compensated for.

When it comes to technicalities, this movie works on every level. The acting is superb and the character motivations and arcs are believable. Even the villains sometimes feel like people you would meet at work who are just scared of changing the rules. The relatability of the heroes’ struggle is what makes the story inspiring to everyone. The stories of the three main characters have a consistent theme but still feel unique. The movie never intersects the stories of the main characters in a way that doesn’t feel natural. Even if the writing occasionally loses subtlety, it never sacrifices the ability to grab your attention and even make you a little bit uncomfortable when it needs to address a heavy subject. The setting neatly captures the feeling of a nation in the middle of many kinds of conflict and on the verge of great discoveries and accomplishments. Even the songs from that era used in the soundtrack get stuck in your head for a day or two.

While its main focus is on civil rights, Hidden Figures also has an underlying theme about the importance of education and intelligence. The value of human computers in the 1960’s is shown in great detail and viewers will be amazed at the ability of those remarkable individuals who used their minds to put humans into space. The intelligence of the main characters is shown in a respectful light and you can feel their effort and the accomplishments that they make in their respective fields. For a college student struggling through her or his third math class, this is pure inspiration. This movie can be recommended to anyone who can relate to feeling underappreciated and overlooked at work or any other setting.

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