“The Hate U Give” impresses, encourages viewer


You know what, I’m just going to say it. I liked “The Hate U Give” before it was cool. Well, I liked the book before it was a movie, anyway.

When I first read the book, I immediately loved it. It was impactful and heartbreaking and life-changing and everything else a good book should be. So, naturally, when I heard it was being turned into a movie, I was very excited.

Now, having actually seen the movie, I can safely say the excitement is completely worth it.

In the movie, Starr Carter (played Amandla Stenberg) is riding with her childhood friend, Khalil (played by Algee Smith), in the car when they get pulled over, and Khalil is fatally shot by a police officer. Starr then has to balance her two worlds — the poor, mostly black neighborhood where she lives, and the rich, mostly white school that she attends — and how they individually react to the death of Khalil, and to her being the witness.

Stenberg was phenomenal in her role. All of the acting was good, down to even the young kids, but Stenberg really seemed to shine. Stenberg’s previous movie roles didn’t showcase her intensity as an actor.  

Although, admittedly, it’s been a long time since I’ve read the book, I felt like anything major from the book was left in, and anything they added flowed smoothly and didn’t feel forced. They did a good job of dispersing the really emotional moments all throughout the movie, so I (and the people I watched it with) were in tears basically from beginning to end.

One of the most important details for me was how the predominantly white school she goes to reminded me — both while reading the book and even more so while watching the movie — of Westlake. Now, I’m not trying to generalize everyone at Westlake because I know there are plenty of people who would never act like the majority of those shown in the movie (even in the movie there were perfectly alright people), and I don’t want to spoil the movie by going into too much detail, but I just know that for me it was very eye-opening. It definitely made me reconsider how and why I did or thought certain things.

All in all, this is definitely a really great movie and adaptation of a book. It was emotional and suspenseful in all the right ways, and I’d recommend it to anyone. The only catch is that you do have to have a relatively open mind: it’s very blatantly in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, so if you don’t like the movement, you might not like the movie either.