The highs and lows of The Harder They Fall
I shout a solid “YES” to The Harder They Fall It was a wild ride. The assignment was understood and, for the most part, what needed to be done was done. The cast was delicious and carried the thinly written film! (They made me start to ideate about what my dream cast of Jamaican actors would look like!).
Those close to me already know, but for those who aren’t I am declaring that I am fascinated by and with the immensely talented Jonathan Majors….he has not disappointed me yet! Bless him! I was also very impressed by Danielle Deadwyler as Cuffee. Regina King was a delight, Idris and Lakeith were efficient. Kudos and high fives to Delroy Lindo, RJ Cyler and Edi Cathegi for engaging and entertaining performances. I was happy for Deon Cole and hope to see him in other projects. The soundtrack is quite good with Jamaica well represented!
Two things are making me go ‘Hmmmmm…’ and cast side eyes: (1) Why isn’t Michael Beach listed in the credits for his role as the father? (2) Zazie Beetz hasn’t really impressed me as an actress yet, that aside how the hell did she get cast as the dark-skinned, full-bodied grown woman Stagecoach Mary? I gather that the director Jeymes Samuel has rubbished concerns by saying he wasn’t making a bio-pic. No sir, unacceptable. With all the other real-life characters, you took liberties with historical and factual accuracy, but not with complexion. What was different about the casting of Stagecoach Mary?
I stand corrected. That is what I thought until I went down the rabbit hole and discovered additional liberties taken as seen below:
When white folks do this sort of thing we draw ranks and cry foul, our people should not get a pass when they are the offender. Deliberately choosing to change the ethnicity and physical features of actual people in a film is tantamount to erasure. It is a disturbing and dangerous thing. I wonder if anybody involved (on-screen and off) said anything or were bothered by this? I enjoyed the movie, but this is problematic and shouldn’t be taken lightly.