Directed by Denzel Washington, Fences is the story of a working-class African-American father who tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life. The film is based off a play of the same name and if you like plays then you will probably like this.
Denzel Washington directs as well as stars in this film as Troy Maxson, a guy who has had a long hard life and just wants his son to have something better. Throughout the film he is shown as strong willed, hard headed but with a touch of vulnerability. Denzel Washington is incredible in this film and it is easy to see why he was Oscar nominated for best actor.
Standing alongside Troy Mason is his wife Rose played by Viola Davis who won the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in this film. Rose is an incredibly strong character who just wants her family to stay together but when it comes to it, she is easily a match for Troy, matching him with words and strength of will.
A lot of the tension comes from the relationship between Troy and his son Corey (Jovan Adepo). All Corey wants to do in engage in sports but Troy is not happy about that as his chances were ruined and he doesn’t want his son to go down the same path. This sets up a lot of very passionate scenes and some incredible monologues.
Aside from the opening and a few scenes scattered throughout, the movie is largely set in hand out of their house. Literally everything of consequence happens here with many of the events happening off screen. Audiences have no choice but to focus on the acting and I actually think this works in the films favour, it is a play in film form after all.
With passionate scenes and incredible monologues often comes emotion and Fences has it in spades. One of the most emotional moments in the entire film comes towards the end as Corey and his half sister Raynell (Saniyya Sidney) sing their fathers song. The final shot with the sun and the trumpet may be cliche but dam if it didn’t bring a tear to my eye.
Overall I have to say that I actually enjoyed watching Fences. The story was interesting, the acting was superb and it made a nice change from some of the other films I have seen. It is very much like a play so if that is your thing then you will really enjoy this film.