By Melissa Vroon
August 10th, 2011
Have you ever felt a little bit sad after you finish reading a particularly good book? This may not necessarily be because the ending was sad but because you were so engrossed in the lives of the characters of the book that you knew you were going to miss them just a little bit?
This is how I felt when I finished the book The Help. The characters are so rich and lovable that I was dreading the end of the book because I knew I would miss reading about the lives of these women I had grown to adore. The book is beautifully written by Kathryn Stockett who grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. She was inspired to write the story based on her close relationship with her family maid from her childhood.
The Help takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960′s at the cusp of the civil rights movement and the demise of the Jim Crow era. Skeeter, one of the main characters in the book had recently graduated from university and wanted to become a writer. She was advised by a New York publisher to write a book about something that is important to her but may seem insignificant to others. She decides to write about the tense and somewhat absurd relationship between society-type middle class white women and the black women they have hired to help them run their homes and raise their children. The women need each other and in their way, love each other, but the racial inequality is so ingrained that the employers insist their staff use a separate bathroom outside the home.
The Help by Dreamworks comes out everywhere in theatres today. I saw a preview screening a few days ago and the movie did the book justice. The characters, while not as well developed in the movie as in the book, were completely believable and much as I had imagined them in my mind while reading the story.
The character Hilly (played by Bryce Howard Steward) was deliciously evil in the movie. She was the antagonist and the ringleader to pass the Home Help Sanitation Initiative Bill to become a law which would make it mandatory for all homes to have separate bathrooms for the help.
I know with movies there are time constraints so not everything could make it into the film, but the magic essence of the book that had me hooked made it onto the big screen. I took a friend with me who had not read the book, and we were both equally moved by the story and the message that resounded from it. Be sure to bring tissues even if you are not a crier. I rarely cry in movies and this one turned me into a sobbing mess.
When: In theatres August 10th, 2011