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12 Years A Slave Review

12 Years A Slave Rating: 3.92/5

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12 Years A Slave Movie Reviews

Ratings:4/5 Review By: Rajeev Masand Site: Masand’s Verdict (CNN IBN)

There are enough scenes of brutal violence in 12 Years a Slave to make your skin crawl. Nicely shot and paced, the film works because it breathes with reality. McQueen drives every scene to the core of its emotions, and their cumulative emotional effect is devastating. I’m going with four out of five for 12 Years a Slave. It’ll leave you shocked, ashamed, angry and overwhelmed.

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Ratings:4.5/5 Review By: Anupama Chopra Site:Star World (Hindustan Times)

Salman Khan once said that going to a movie should be like going to a nightclub. If you believe that then don’t step into this one. But if you want to experience a film that is, in equal parts, brilliant and brutal, then head to a theater now. 12 Years a Slave is a difficult film but please don’t let that deter you. This is a great movie, which will enrich you. It deserves your time. I’m going with four and a half stars.

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Ratings:3.5/5 Review By: Raja Sen Site:Rediff

Steve McQueen’s relentless motion picture captures it all, from the bodies to the trees, from the pastoral scenes to the twisted mouths. 12 Years A Slave is an admittedly rough watch, but it is a conventional one, an old-fashioned swallow of bitter cinematic tonic for audiences too used to their spoonfuls of silver-screen sugar.

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Ratings:3/5 Review By: Mihir Fadnavis Site:Mid Day

Some of the plot points are a tad clichéd, and the final scene is full of saccharine, coming dangerously close to mawkish territory. That makes it a well-made and well-acted motion picture that will win a lot of awards, but one that is merely ordinary, given the talent driving it. Luckily even an ordinary film from McQueen is better than most of the stuff out there.

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Ratings:4/5 Review By: Rohit Khilnani Site:Headlines Today

12 Years a Slave is one of the best movies ever made on American slavery. British director Steve McQueen has succeeded in bringing on celluloid the pain of slavery in every single scene of the film. It’s an adaptation of the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup. Must I add that it’s very brave of Brad Pitt to produce this one.

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Ratings:4.5/5 Review By: Tushar Joshi Site:DNA

It isn’t as thrilling as Django Unchained or engaging as The Butler, so patience is the key if you want to actually live through this experience. There are several moments of depression and insane human atrocity, so those with a weak stomach might have a reason to worry. Towards the end we forget about the hundreds of other Solomon’s whose stories and lives never got an audience. 12 Years a Slave has some outstanding performances that put the film on top of the must watch list.

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Ratings:– Review By: Deepanjana Paul Site:First Post

There are obvious reasons why it may seem like a good idea to give 12 Years A Slave a miss. It’s not funny, it’s brutal, and it is depressing. So why watch an overwhelmingly sad film about a man who spends 12 years as a slave in faraway America, back in the 19th century? What does it matter to you and me here in India? Why suffer more than two hours of a cinematic lecture about a culture and history that isn’t ours? Because 12 Years A Slave is about something we’d all like to believe we have: the human spirit.

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  1. 12 YEARS A SLAVE:
    Dark, depressing, tragic tale of survival that fails to overcome & overwhelm! [3/5]

    Sitting in an air-conditioned auditorium of a multiplex & holding a bucket full of buttered popcorn in one hand and the iced cola glass in the other, if I would dare to confirm that I could actually feel the pain of slavery in the proclaimed measure, either I would be lying or the creation is truly empathetic. I would save myself from going either ways. Steve McQueen’s potential sweepstake at Oscars and a real-life drama ’12 YEARS A SLAVE’ does make me uncomfortable with the impact of brutality in the storytelling. It also succeeds in evoking my angst against this unkind, inhuman ill-practice called slavery but not the way Tarantino orchestrate in DJANGO UNCHAINED or Spielberg embraces in AMISTAD & SCHINDLER’S LIST. I am not overwhelmed.

    Based on the memoirs of Solomon Northup, 12 YEARS A SLAVE is an inspiring survival saga of a free Negro’s journey through 12 years of unfortunate times in the custody of slavery. Kidnapped by two of his acquaintances, Solomon is now forced to live the life of a slave. His past as head of the happy family of a loving wife with 2 beautiful kids haunts him to make a run for life but the necessitate of survival keeps him forever on trade-board from one master [the generous & bighearted William Ford played by Benedict Cumberbatch] to another [Michael Fassbender playing Mr. Epps- strong believer of slavery and inequality of all kinds in human race]. Meanwhile every pain and sufferings Solomon and his people go through become a significant part of Solomon’s memoir.

    12 YEARS A SLAVE doesn’t stick to linear narrative and moves back & forth on the timeline to create an effective after-effect of the change in circumstances. Film’s strength is definitely the ruthlessly real portrayal of brutality. Man & women getting stripped and whipped till their skin peels off and showing it on screen without having any apprehension is bad enough to make you feel gnashing your teeth in anger, desperation and anxiety. Background score makes varied impressions with thumping sounds, grasping silence and instrumentals that form ripples of emotions in you. Camerawork is superb. It takes out something from you in those horrific scenes of torture, rape and hopelessness and fills you in with conspicuous visuals in daylight especially.

    All these and then the performances! Chiwetel Ejiofor is more than just flesh & bone to Solomon Northup. His gazing empty eyes with a little ray of hope to find everything in place in the end are totally engaging. He deserves every inch of Oscar trophy in the category. Film also gets a certain somber touch of realism with shots that long more than a couple of minutes. In one, you get to see Solomon being hanged by neck to a tree and he sweats like anything to find his feet on muddy surface. This one sequence goes on and on till you feel suffocated by yourself.

    Good for some but then this less dramatic approach with all dark, depressing, gloomy feel & pace to it turns regular and routine after a point when nothing actually comes forward as a solid storyline and rests merely on series of incidents. Even the climax comes out of nowhere and merges into the end very conveniently. The actual events might have happened like that but if not cherished as awe-inspiring celebration of life at the end, it would be difficult to rejoice as a good comfortable viewing. Watch it for the performances! [3/5]

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