Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Drama The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret of Life of Bees is set in 1964 South Carolina and is about a young girl named Lily Owens (played by Dakota Fanning) who escapes her home along with her caregiver Rosaleen (played by Jennifer Hudson) and finds comfort with beekeeping sisters.

Lily is a 14 year old girl living with her crazy father and the memory of her dead mother. She sets out to find out more about her mother’s past and stumbles upon to the lives of the Boatwright sisters. The Boatwright sisters who all have calendar names and personalities to match own a honey farm and are more cultured than most black people at that time. Mae Boatwright (played by Sophie Okenedo) is the gentle and emotional one who carries the weight of the world on her shoulder. June (played by Alicia Keys) is the fiery one who seems ready to explode at any moment about life’s trial and tribulations. August Boatwright (played by the incomparable Queen Latifah) is the wise and nurturing one who spreads not only wisdom about honey but about life in general.

This film carried a lot of singers turned actors in it but it did not surprise me one bit that each one brought as much depth to the film as they do their music. Alicia Keys who is one of the best musicians I have ever heard of really brought light to a character like June who seems almost dark at times. The film not only shines talent on Alicia or Jennifer Hudson who are fairly new to the game of acting but Dakota Fanning who seems to wow me with every film she chooses to make. Dakota not only brought life to Lily but just enough energy that the character Lily needed to make the bold steps that she took. It was during one of Jennifer Hudson’s scenes that had me singing her praises as a serious actor. It was when her character Rosaleen pours her spit all over a racist white man’s shoes and has to deal with the consequences. That particular scene confirmed everything that I already knew about Ms. Hudson is that she can definitely stand beside great actress like Latifah and Okenedo who did a phenomenal job in their respectable roles.

One of my favorite things about the movie was the direction it chose to take instead of it being an overly dramatic depiction of racism and unfairness it was a subtle portrayal of redemption and change. It allowed just enough room for the characters to understand things about themselves without to much sappy nonsense. Another thing that was right on point about the movie was the music. The film used different kinds of music that made it more universal. I love the fact that they threw in some classics of that time to give us a since of what it was like and Tristan Wilds version of the Four Tops “Baby I need your Loving” had me wanting more.

The film carried a lot of heart and soul and was a perfect rendition of a movie done right. The director Gina Prince Bythewood really captured the emotion of the time. I would recommend this film to everyone who love to watch great films. This is the core of a great film and it is suitable for everyone not just women but the whole family.

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