Based on Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel of the same name, The Help is a heartfelt story of courage and friendship that packs a gutsy cinematic punch. Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, it offers viewers a candid snapshot of what life was like for black domestic helpers at the height of the civil rights era.
At the heart of The Help is Aibileen (Viola Davis), a loving black maid and nanny who has endured years of verbal and emotional abuse by her white employers – at the end of the day, this really is her story. When Skeeter (Emma Stone) a new Ole Miss graduate and aspiring journalist returns home from college, she attempts to convince Aibileen and her best friend Minny (Octavia Spencer) to share their stories and secrets to help her write a book about racism in the South – a side of the story she believes has never been told before.
If you’ve read The Help then you’ll know how the plot unfolds. For those who haven’t, I’ll leave it for you to discover how an unlikely bond is forged and a remarkable sisterhood emerges. It really is a testament to the human spirit – not to mention a good lesson in American history.
In terms of the novel, there is no need to feel as though you must read it before seeing the film. Many people have assured me the big screen adaptation of The Help is very true to the book.
It’s also worth mentioning that despite a raft of gut-wrenching (as well as tear-jerking) moments, there’s also a lot of girly laughter. The Help isn’t a ‘happy ever after’ movie although I’d like to think most people will be pleased with the ending and leave with a sense of resolution.
All in all, I’m pretty certain The Help will be a force to be reckoned with at next year’s Academy Awards
Don’t forget your tissues and waterproof mascara!
The Help is currently showing at selected cinemas around Hong Kong for a limited time.