The Queen of Souls is back. Yes people, this week we are blessed with another biographical musical drama of a renounced singer. You guessed it right; we are talking about none other than American singer, songwriter and pianist Aretha Louise Franklin. Directed by Liesl Tommy, starring our favourite Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin. The movie was just released on 13th of August and yielded $8.8 million, finishing fourth at the box office. Let’s dive right in.
As already told, the movie is a biopic of Aretha Franklin. The movie starts with a 10-year-old Aretha who began her career as a child, singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin, played by Forest Whitaker, was a minister. The entire life of the singer was shown, like how she started her career, her first hit, how after a lot of struggles she came back to her roots. We were also shown about her family, her marriages and kids, also her close relationship with her father. Without giving a lot of spoilers, we can just say, the movie gives a pretty good idea about the singer’s life and her hardships for succeeding.
Selecting Jennifer Hudson for the role, for us, was the perfect choice. We are flattered by the performance of Jennifer Hudson, along with all the other characters. They did such a good job to bring life and energy to a script we liked little. Tracey Wilson’s script omits two decades of Aretha’s life, from her early years singing in her father’s church choir through the recording of her first four albums. We watch her moving on from the choir to Columbia Records, then we watch her struggle under her father’s cruel management, and then we watch her sign to Atlantic Records where she becomes the Queen of Soul. Throughout the movie, the audience is taken on an epic roller-coaster ride of her life.
The story, or just bio, is a detailed description of a person’s experience. It requires more than just the fundamentals facts like training, employment, retaliation, and death; it depicts the person’s experience of their living events. This story shows only the singer’s life history, highlights the different aspects of her career, but somehow excludes the intimate details of her life and an analysis of the subject’s personality. We would have enjoyed it if the writers showed her relationship with her sisters, her husbands and her four kids.
Aretha had a big involvement during the civil rights movement as well. We do not get enough of her on this account throughout the movie. The script portrayed how she was passed around by men, first her father and then her husbands, throughout her life. We feel it would be appreciated if we could see a bit more details about how she managed to succeed in a male- dominated society. Although, fans will probably eat all of this up just for the excellent musical performances.
In Conclusion, we can say the movie was really enjoyable, but for a two-and-a-half-hour movie, the writers had more than enough potential to make the movie remarkable, but somehow could not do it. For other biographical pieces, check out “Shershaah”.