Till – Movie Review

Hard to watch? Or just hard to watch?

What’s it about?

The story of Mamie Till-Mobley’s pursuit of justice after the lynching of her son Emmett in 1950s Mississippi.

What’d we think?

While it’s a well-presented and undeniably important story, Till is lacking anything special to set it apart from the myriad similar films in this niche. Till is at its best early on, giving us a glimpse into the palpable anxiety that Mamie feels before Emmett leaves the relative safety of Chicago to visit his cousins in the South, as Mamie puts it “He just doesn’t understand how things are different in Mississippi”. Emmett’s assault and murder are (mercifully) not depicted in detail, and while the film portrays Mamie’s decision to display his mutilated body at his funeral, it’s handled as respectfully as possible.
While the performance by Danielle Deadwyler is incredibly strong, the plot itself lacks any clear direction beyond showcasing a mother’s grief. For anyone who has so much as read the Wikipedia article of Emmett’s murder, the film frustratingly glosses over Mamie’s continued involvement with the civil rights movement, while for people unfamiliar with the story, it will likely feel like the film ends before it gets to the third act.

Sensitively handled, but a little empty
A raconteur by nature and motormouth by trade, the only thing Pete loves more than watching movies is a good debate about movies. He'll argue with anyone about anything, and enjoy it more than is socially acceptable.
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