Review: Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures stars Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as Katherine Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson respectively. The movie portrays the work and personal life of three African American women and how their endeavours got nearly unnoticed by the people who thought they never owed them anything. The director has painted a picture that stands astute between the rendering of racially motivated segregation and the unbeaten spirit of this trifecta.

It is evident from the social temperament of that time why this crucial piece of contribution remained more or less unpublicized. The movie title Hidden Figures ingeniously refers to the undisclosed mathematical calculations and the people whose efforts went unnoticed. The help from both made possible the advent of John Glenn, the first American, into space.

Katherine Jackson is a single mother of three that juggles between her busy work life and three little girls including their grandmother. Being the prodigal underdog and brilliantly adept in mathematics, Katherine works as a computer at NASA with several other similar computers.

One of which is Mary Jackson who is more than capable of achieving greater heights but is forced to limit herself due to social restrictions and segregations. Her yearnings for being able to work in the male and racially dominated environment is intensified even more when she experiences extremely bigoted standards at her work place. Dorothy Vaughan is the authoritative sister to the other two and the assumed supervisor of all the “coloured computers” whose constant fight for competent pay and treatment is impeccable. Throughout the movie these three fabulously spirited women are seen contributing to their one motive of sending their man to space. Their efforts however methodical and earnest are met with innumerable heart palpitating discriminatory challenges. The movie is all about how these three women managed to rise above all else, both competently and psychologically in order to perform their duty to the country.

The trio is shown slogging in a place where there is close to none appreciation. In spite of all the social hurdles and restraints, these women ran the extra mile and then some. The true story card has been played correctly and feels overdue. The camera focuses on Taraji P Henson more as her character was more involved with the substantial and lightening fast calculations that made possible the safe journey of the first American into space.

It is important to acknowledge the pain those women underwent. The discrimination at home, workplace, on their way to the work place and even in the use of restrooms and coffee machines has been delivered intelligibly by the actresses. The movie is not just about how the society was reluctant to accept them and their effort; it was how those women never backed down. Director and writer Theodore Melfi has pitched an Oscar nomination with this masterpiece which is extremely hard to dislike. A feel good movie like this is meant for all kinds of audiences. It is motivation to not just racially victimised people, but to anyone else who has ever been hindered on their way to achieving what is rightfully theirs. This movie is a chicken soup for the soul of all kinds. After all, we all pee the same colour!!

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