Glory | Teen Ink


August 28, 2015
By AlaNova ELITE, Naperville, Illinois
AlaNova ELITE, Naperville, Illinois
257 articles 0 photos 326 comments

Favorite Quote:
Dalai Lama said, "There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called YESTERDAY and the other is called TOMORROW, so today is the right day to love, believe, do, and mostly live..."

The Civil War is boiling over, and Antietam veteran Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick) is given the offer to commandeer the United States’ 54th Massachusetts Infantry. It’s also the first all African-American division America has seen in combat, and notables include the hot-headed, rebellious Trip (Denzel Washington), studious Thomas Searles (Andre Braugher), and fatherly-hearted John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman). Only for the might of a truly honorable infantry, they’re handed a degree of contempt by higher officers for the color of their skin—even as they fight for the North. The simmering internal conflicts of former slave Trip threatens to ignite them all, but the men of the 54th are determined to prove themselves in battle, as well as to earn for themselves: glory.

What could have become another patriotic swing to the face reveals as something greater—a gracious, triumphant, and strangely warming story. This is a movie that takes on a new angle to a struggle we Americans claim to know—one of my favorite kinds of ungenred genres. Remember the last sentence from your textbook’s Civil War chapter? There the camera pans in; the courageous 54th has finally earned full stripes through a vibrant telling of a long awaited tale.

While racial relations aren’t, admittedly, squeaky-clean, even in the North, there’s a curious metamorphosis you can outline through the movie with your pinky finger. Shaw sees himself an unprejudiced man, but he truly becomes one through the course of the movie, seeing that though the North proclaims to fight for all men’s freedom, Negroes yet remain second-class citizens. Escapee slave turned soldier Trip tickles a vein, portraying what may have been shockingly realistic amidst a bubbling camp of already messy politics. He enflames the internal workings of camp by taunting fellow African-Americans in the regiment that they battle yet again for the white man, and will die under his flag. Good ole fashioned military treatment works the film up to top notch. And in the end, the movie’s overall character wingspan accumulates so heartily that when hitting climax, we have plenty of reasons to proudly march on alongside these men to Judgment Day. The Academy concludes bittersweet end with an award here and there, an Oscar for you…and you! Always: glory.

The author's comments:

What does "THHRe" stand for? Good question! It's THE HOLY HITCHHIKE’S REVIEW...A shorter version of the Hitchhike, reviews principally concerning books, movies, and music. Enjoy, and let loose your commentary and suggestions below. A new column of THH every Friday!

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