• Strictly Films

Respect; Grade: B

Respect is based on one of the greatest female artists of all time, the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin (Jennifer Hudson). Here in Respect we’ll be going through Aretha’s entire life, from childhood, to young adult, to adult. We’ll go through the struggles and triumphs within her singing career, how she established her own sound based around a studio and a group of musicians you would’ve never think Aretha would ever work with, her struggles within an unhealthy relationship with her marriage and alcoholism, and how she established a miraculous comeback thanks to Christ.

The Cinematography t’was fair, I expected a little more visual speaking considering this came in an old time period, but it looked fine. The Score was solid, loved the old school tunes sung from Aretha’s catalog, wonderfully sung by Jennifer Hudson and the small child whom played younger Aretha. The cast all in all t’was solid. Jennifer Hudson playing Aretha Franklin of course was born to play this role, as she played a pretty good performance vocal wise and acting wise as well. Marlon Wayans playing Aretha’s man Ted White played a solid performance, I believed he performed well during critical situations in which you feel vile and disgust by this character, which could be challenging for one a like hearted comedian like Marlon is. I also enjoyed Forrest Whittaker playing Aretha’s father, I thought his scenes with Jennifer Hudson were terrific, as they displayed great chemistry between each other.

We’ve come to see many musical biopics as of lately. RocketMan, Straight Outta Compton, Bohemian Rhapsody, The United States Vs Billie Holiday… There’s been a lot these last few years. Respect to me is a film that not only celebrates a great artist within Aretha as far as vocal talent and song talent, but also can be described as a feel good movie to some.

The story within itself is simply told, as far as a biopic I felt this film does a pretty good job in revealing some new details you might of not known within Aretha’s life. Learning about her religious ties dating back to being a child, a shocking reveal regarding her childhood, her relationship with Ted, how she established having her own sound, her involvement in the civil rights movement and how she had a mutual connection with Martin Luther King Jr., and her battle with alcoholism… This film does a fairly good job in delivering me a fair amount of knowledge, which a biopic should be doing. The film is steadily paced, the run time maybe almost two and a half hours long, however it flies by as it never really skips a beat. I enjoyed watching the story of Aretha Franklin, not only a talented being but also a strong minded being whom had to overcome many obstacles along the way. I do believe Respect delivers a heart felt message, in which as long as you got Christ by your side… You will be able to overcome any battle, no matter how challenging that battle that might be.

I think this film will offer some kind of enjoyment to viewers, whether it be the tunes you grew up listening to or watching a strong independent woman strive through challenges into becoming a successful individual and can be considered a role model for women or just by anybody as a matter of fact.

Overall, Respect is a solid film. I recommend checking this one out, it’s def a nice watch. -Mitch Smietana

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