The year just turned 2023, and you would think that with every year passing, society becomes much more forgiving, loving and tolerable. While this is undoubtedly the case, we still have a long way to go. That’s proven by Till, the movie about Mamie Till-Mobley fighting for justice after her teenage son was murdered in 1955.
Her fight reached its height when the Emmett Till Antilynching Act was approved in April last year. That approval came more than 67 years after the facts. Couldn’t it really have been much sooner? To make sure that no one forgets her fight, to show us why equal rights are fundamental and why we can’t let history repeat itself, director Chinonye Chukwu (“Clemency”, “A Long Walk”) decided to bring Till’s story to life in her latest film and what an incredible movie it is! Not only because of the gripping and harsh storyline but mainly because of the Oscar-worthy performance by Danielle Deadwyler.
They always say that from the moment you become a mother, you vow to do everything you can to protect your kid, and that’s what the devoted mother Mamie (Deadwyler) did when her Emmett (AKA Bo or Bobo) was born. As a black person living in the 1950s, she knows how challenging life can be. She teaches her son how to behave in front of white people and what to do in a dangerous situation. However, if there’s one thing she refuses to do, it is to live in fear.
Mamie doesn’t want her son to be afraid of living life. That’s why she allows Emmett to visit his family in Mississippi. Her little boy is extremely energetic and charismatic, but sadly, his life is cut short in the most brutal way. After behaving ‘inappropriately’ towards a white woman, he’s kidnapped, beaten, murdered, and thrown into a river. His lynching will forever change Mamie’s life and the civil rights moment in America.
While Mamie feels incredible sadness and anger, she’s also extremely courageous and determined. When she sees her son’s mutilated, bruised and beaten up body, she shows it to the entire world. She wants everyone wants to see what brutality he has been through and why society needs to change ASAP. From then onwards, “Till” focuses on the emotional fight of Mamie to get justice for her son’s lynching, even if that means fearing for her own life.
While this story is incredibly important, it’s also one that most people don’t know about. To ensure that Mamie her life and Emmett’s lynching aren’t forgotten, Chukwu and her team decide to bring the events to the big screen as true-to-life as possible. They’re not shy of showing us the harshest, most impactful and most emotional sides of the story.
They want to show us Bo’s mutilated body, and to ensure that it has the most significant impact possible, they hired the best make-up and prosthetic team you can find. Our congratulations to those teams because their work is impeccable and highly on-point. When the rest of Bo’s family, journalists and mourners come to see his body, they’re genuinely shocked by it, and we’re pretty sure that once you see it, you will feel the same way.
What makes “Till” as impactful as it is, is the top-notch performance by Deadwyler (“The Harder They Fall”, “Reckoning”). At first, her performance is more subtle, heart-warming and uplifting, but when the missing and murder of her on-screen son comes to light, her acting becomes incredibly heart-breaking, passionate and unforgettable.
The fierceness with which she demands your attention is out-of-this-world, and we certainly hope she will be recognized for her fantastic acting in this movie. Another unforgettable performance comes from Jalyn Hall (“Shaft”, “John Henry”), who plays Emmett with charisma, vibrance and openness. He brings a lot of sunshine to this movie and shows us that Emmett was a young, loving teenager who deserved to live a whole life.
When watching “Till”, you will see some harsh moments and scenes that are hard to look at, but the most shocking ones are the ones right before the credits. After being found not guilty, Till’s murderers confessed to Look Magazine and were paid $4,000 for that interview. Carolyn Bryant, the young woman Emmett so-called harassed, didn’t get sentenced and is still alive. This proves again that “Till” is a must-see for its timely and important story and the incredible performance by Chinonye Chukwu.
6th January 2023
THE QUICK SELL
In 1955, after Emmett Till is murdered in a brutal lynching, his mother vows to expose the racism behind the attack while working to have those involved brought to justice.