Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney
Unable to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional baseball player, older and bitter sanitation worker Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) tries to raise his family and comes to terms with the events of his life.
I have never seen the trailer for "Fences", but I was very interested in it because it was directed by leading actor Denzel Washington and Viola Davis was on his side. A film featuring those two fantastic artists has to be great. Well, "Fences" was more than that. It was an astonishing, complex and powerful film about life.
The simple yet deep story, based on August Wilson's play, is an intimate account of Troy's life and those around him, from his family to his friends. It is very interesting, well developed and told in such a beautiful way it makes time fly by.
With this film, Denzel Washington explores the issues that affected a lot of African American families in the 50's, especially the frustration resulting from race. I am not going to act like I know what it was like because I didn't grow up in the 50's and I'm not black, but I feel like the film was able to convey all of that.
The fences between white and black people aren't the only fences in the film. And not even the most important. That role goes to the only material fence in the film that is an excellent metaphor of how hard it is to isolate yourself, and to the immaterial ones, those Troy has erected between himself and his sons.
What I liked the most about "Fences" was its theatrical structure. The feeling one has while watching the film is the same of a play, when words are at the center of the stage with non-stop dialogue scenes that are probably too long but not boring and that engage you in spite of the topic; when actions aren't shown but told; when a great staging is able to overshadow any special effects.
But most important, when acting overshadows everything else. Denzel Washington completely inhabits Troy's character to the point it's hard to imagine him being a different person in real life. He truly gives all of himself with an emotional performance raging from joy to despair, and he is able to make you feel compassion for his character. Equally powerful and superb is Viola Davis's performance as Troy's wife. The best moment of the film belongs to her as her character finally explodes conveying all of her feelings.