‘Till’: Hard To Watch, But In The Good Way

A TSL Review

The movie Till stars Jalyn Hall as Emmit Till and Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till.

I recently I got a chance to see Till, a movie that tells the story of Emmitt Till, a 14-year-old Chicago boy who suffered a life-taking beating from a group of white men after being accused of whistling at a white woman. In every historical fiction film there are two goals that the filmmakers must provide to the best of their abilities: immersion in the world and accuracy. Till, which stars Danielle Deadwyler, Whoopi Goldberg and Jalyn Hall who portrays Emmit Till, did a good job of both things, but still had things that held back in regards to the two goals. It did an amazing job of painting a picture of the world during the time of Till’s passing, however, in my opinion, there was one thing in particular that they left out that would’ve added a level to that immersion. The movie was accurate in a sense, but at the same time it wasn’t, since the white lady, Carolyn Bryant (Haley Bennett), that he supposedly whistled at, has since come out and said that she lied about the whole thing.

Some will say that stories like Till’s should stay off the big screen, but I’m happy that this movie was made. For one, this story being shown to us in a color motion picture instead of black and white, adds depth and a sense of realism that words and black and white photographs can’t deliver. Seeing an accurate depiction of how America operated was crucial to the impact of this movie. We might hear how bad it was back then, but seeing how bad it was is one hundred percent needed. With that being said, this movie could’ve done an even better job depicting how bad it was if they showed the beating of Emmitt Till.

Not showing the heinous crime was a negative for me. I feel like you can’t paint a picture that is Till’s story without showing us the ugly parts. I’m aware that showing such a thing is a bit graphic, but it’s real, it’s what happened to Black people all over the world, openly, and we can’t shy away from it. Seeing the hate crime wouldn’t have just added impact, it would’ve added to the story significantly in my view. After seeing the men do such a thing and walk away free AND get paid for confessing, it would’ve added a more emotional ending, which every filmmaker strives for in endings.

Mamie Till (Danielle Deadwyler) made it her life’s mission to keep Emmit Till’s memory alive. Whoppi Goldberg, a producer on the movie, plays Emmit Till’s grandmother Alma Carthan.

Beating or no beating, the movie was phenomenal. I walked out the theater knowing more about the story than I did before, which is crucial for a historical fiction movie. I found myself feeling angry, which is inevitable, but it’s still a movie you should check out.

Till hits theaters October 14th. Watch the trailer below.

By Gary Langfield Jr., Senior, The Noble Academy Senior



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Written by Gary Langfield

A dude from Chicago with the dream of making movies one day.

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