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HindustanTimes Sat,01 Nov 2014

Rashid Irani's review: Fruitvale Station

Rashid Irani, Hindustan Times   September 20, 2013
First Published: 23:20 IST(20/9/2013) | Last Updated: 12:00 IST(21/9/2013)

Fruitvale Station
Direction: Ryan Coogler
Actors: MB Jordan, Melonie Diaz
Rating: ****1/2

Makes a real impact


The disheartening trend of according significant films a limited release continues with this docudrama. Fruitvale Station recreates the last day in the life of a 22-year-old African-American. Oscar Grant III (Jordan) was involved in a fracas on the platform of the titular subway in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2009.

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Horrified onlookers witnessed the unarmed young man being handcuffed and fatally shot in the back by a white police officer. Grainy cellphone footage of the accident went viral within moments, sparking mass protests in the victim’s native Oakland.

When questioned, the perpetrator cop claimed he had mistaken his revolver for his taser. Filmed on a shoestring budget, director Coogler examines the various factors which contributed to the tragedy.

The script avoids heavy moralising. Melonie Diaz who portrays his girlfriend and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer as his mother are very good but it is Michael B Jordan’s virtuoso performance that forms the core of the film. A film that deserves a wide audience.

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