Selma is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s attempts at implementing the Voting Rights Act for the black population in Alabama in 1965. The film focuses on a significant chapter in King’s life, the march of thousands of people from Selma to Montgomery, capital of Alabama.
Selma is one of the better Civil Rights films of recent years. The movie is more talking than intensity, and the first hour is very slow, but the second hour really pulled me in. The movie is very well done. David Oyelowo delivers a great performance, he looked and sounded exactly like the actual Martin Luther King. He delivered every line very accurately and with great emotion. He was very convincing as a true charismatic leader. Carmen Ejogo was great as Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s wife. All the characters were very well developed, and the actors were well casted. I could feel that director Ava DuVernay made a special effort to remain true to the actual chain of events in order to convey the spirit of King’s struggles and the atmosphere of hatred towards the black population in Alabama. The violent scenes of the beatings and brutality of innocent black people that were peacefully marching were especially horrifying, and I felt like I was watching the actual event, because of the way they reenacted the scene. The film is very convincing about the characters and the period of time in which the film takes place. In the end, the audience and myself were applauding, because the film was successfully able to convey the meaningfulness of King’s efforts and the horrors of that time period. I am glad I live today and not back then, because of the racism and people that made society dangerous.
Overall, Selma is a great film. It’s very slow, but still well made, acted, and directed. David Oyelowo delivers a solid performance as Dr. MLK, and the film does not fail at delivering it’s message to the audience. This film proves to be a true Oscar contender. Highly recommended, but only for ages 14 and up, because of brutal, violent scenes and some racial slurs.