Monday, April 29, 2013

History Lessons at the Movies

Over the weekend, my husband and I took in 42, a new biopic about Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey and the color barrier in baseball. I love baseball, always have. Do I sometimes wish it was a little faster? Yeah. But there is something about sitting in a ball park, eating hotdogs on a sunny day and listening to the crack of bat against ball that is...well, magical.

and in case you've never seen any of Jackie's real-life highlights, here you go:

And for me, the film 42 was the same thing: magical. Not pretty, nothing surrounding segregation and color barriers is pretty to me. But it was magic, just the same. My favorite part of the film wasn't the baseball, though. It was the pieces of the relationship between Jack and Rae, his wife. At one point in the film, Jackie is just...bombarded with hate from an opposing team's manager. In the film you can see the anger growing, you can see how. . .impotent he feels. Because if he reacts? As they say in the movie, his reaction will be all that is remembered. He can't react. For that moment he's lost and Rae is there, sitting in the stands, willing him to look at her. To remember her. To see her and be taken out of that hate-filled batter's box and back into his life. He couldn't look at her, not at that moment, but when he got a hit the next time he was up, he saw her and the smile on his face...Oh, so sweet. They were a team of two, that is what I took away from the movie.

To see a man peppered with hate, bigotry and rage and for him to respond with dignity? I was blown away; and from everything I've read about Jackie, dignity was something he held on to, always.

What is the best movie you've seen lately? And what did you take away from it?