a sybarite in paradise
reviewing the food & entertainment pleasures of Honolulu
Even though this is playing right down the street at The Varsity Theatre, we went on Sunday to The Dole Cannery to Amazing Grace. It’s all about the seats. It was a wise decision based on the length of this film. It’s just a couple of minutes short of two hours but feels a bit longer.
Based on true events, Amazing Grace chronicles the fight by William Wilberforce in Britain’s Parliament to end the slave trade. It was a long and hard fight that took over 15 years. This was however, 40 years before our country started to tackle the issue. Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd(pronounced "Yo-wahn Griffith") shows us Wilberforce’s strong passion, ambition and determination. It is a very good performance. He is inspired by his mentor, John Newton, played well by Albert Finney. Newton was a former slave trader himself and remarkably wrote the song Amazing Grace after turning his back on the practice. Wilberforce is also helped by his friend and later Prime Minister William Pitt (Benedict Cumberpatch).
The main flaw with Amazing Grace is it’s slow pace. It’s story is interesting and the actor’s performances are strong. It wallows around for a while in the middle of the film. A bit more editing and it would have been more engaging. This story deserved to be told and I’m glad I know it. The final way the slave trade is taken down is anti-climactic. But then, that’s the history.
I do recommend it, but don’t go if you’re feeling a little tired or impatient.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Amazing Grace