12 Years a Slave
Director Steve McQueen tribute to the black who were victim to the viciousness and savage act done by the white is a nerve wrecking cinematic experience, a movie with a marker of malice and which will take you beyond a limit or range, we can’t imagine ourselves as Solomon Northup, a particular individual who unbelievably escape’s the slavery of 12 years.
But the history says more than 200 Years and Millions of Slaves have gone through the sinful annihilation and misery which white’s had done on them.
Some moments will disturb your psyche and explode you within; the scenes where bidding of black standing naked and the ferocious thrashing of Patsey [Lupita Nyong’o].
The movie has some brilliant lengthy one shot takes without any cuts and a impressive sensitively disturbing performance by the protagonist Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup.
This is one of a kind film which will give you a bizarre expedition to what sadness human [black] comprise for a incredibly long period and faced the racial discrimination in a merciless world of white, it will make you think and feel you are blessed to be born in a safe and sound world.
I express my angst to the people who suffered the long and never ending ordeal, and my salutation to entire team and the cast. Bravo.
In 1841, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a free negro working as a skilled carpenter and fiddle player, and living with his wife and two children in Saratoga Springs, New York. Two men (Scoot McNairy and Taran Killam) offer him a two-week job as a musician, but they drug Northup and he wakes up in chains, about to be sold into slavery.
Northup is shipped to New Orleans, and is re-named “Platt”, the identity of a runaway slave from Georgia. Beaten repeatedly, he is ultimately sold by upscale; unrepentantly callous (“My sentimentality stretches the length of a coin”) slave-trader Theophilus Freeman (Paul Giamatti) to plantation owner William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch). Northup manages to stay on good terms with Ford, a relatively benevolent master. Northup engineers a waterway for transporting logs swiftly and cost-effectively downstream, and Ford presents him with a violin in gratitude. Racist carpenter John Tibeats (Paul Dano) resents Northup, and begins verbally harassing him.
The tensions between Tibeats and Northup escalate; Tibeats attacks Northup, and Northup fights back. In retaliation, Tibeats and his friends attempt to lynch Northup, but are driven away by the plantation’s forman who leaves Northup to suffer in the noose. Northup is eventually cut down by Ford and he later wakes up on the floor of Ford’s house, being protected from Tibeats and his friends by Ford with a gun. Ford explains that in order to save Northup’s life he must be sold to Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender). Northup attempts to reason with Ford, explaining that he is actually a free man. Ford states that he “cannot hear this” and responds “he has a debt to pay” on Northup’s purchase price.
Epps believes his right to abuse his slaves is biblically sanctioned, and encourages the slaves to accept their allegedly predestined, divinely-sanctioned fate by frequently reading to them various pro-slavery Bible verses, both real and fraudulent. Epps also requires each slave to pick at least 200 pounds of cotton every day, or be beaten. A young female slave named Patsey (Lupita Nyong’o) daily picks over 500 pounds and is praised lavishly and coveted lustfully, by Epps. His wife (Sarah Paulson) is envious of the attention her husband pays to Patsey and violently abuses the girl at every opportunity after Epps publicly declares that he’d choose the slave-girl over his wife, if forced. Epps repeatedly rapes Patsey, who asks for Northup’s help in committing suicide, but he refuses.
Epps decides that the new slaves have caused an outbreak of cotton worm, a plague sent by God. He leases them to a neighboring sugar plantation for the season. While there, Northup gains the favor of the plantation’s owner, who allows him to play the fiddle at a wedding anniversary celebration and keep what he earns.
When Northup returns to Epps, he attempts to use the money to pay a white field hand and former overseer (Garret Dillahunt) to mail a letter to Northup’s friends in New York. The field hand agrees to deliver the letter and takes the money, but betrays Northup. Northup is narrowly able to convince Epps that the story is a lie. Northup tearfully burns the letter, his only hope of freedom.
One day, Epps becomes enraged after discovering Patsey missing from his plantation. When she returns, she reveals she was gone to get soap because Epps’ wife refuses to give her soap to clean herself. Epps orders her stripped and tied to a post; encouraged by his wife. Epps forces Northup to whip Patsey. Northup reluctantly obeys but Epps eventually takes the whip away from Northup, savagely lashing her.
As Patsey heals, Northup begins working on the construction of a gazebo with a Canadian carpenter named Bass (Brad Pitt). Bass earns Epps’ displeasure by expressing his opposition to slavery, but this convinces Northup to confide in Bass about his kidnapping. Once again, Northup asks for help in getting a letter to Saratoga Springs. Bass, risking his life, agrees to do that.
One day Northup is called over by the local sheriff, who arrives in a carriage with another man. The sheriff asks Northup a series of questions to match him with the facts of his life in New York. Northup recognizes the sheriff’s companion as a shopkeeper he knows from Saratoga. The man has come to free him, and the two embrace. Though Epps resists and Patsey is distraught, Northup leaves immediately.
After being enslaved for 12 years, Northup is restored to freedom and returned to his family. Concluding credits recount the inability of Northup and his legal counsel to prosecute or have convicted the men responsible for his being sold into slavery. Details surrounding Northup’s death and burial remain a mystery as well.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup
Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps
Lupita Nyong’o as Patsey
Sarah Paulson as Mary Epps
Benedict Cumberbatch as William Ford
Brad Pitt as Samuel Bass
Paul Dano as John Tibeats
Adepero Oduye as Eliza
Paul Giamatti as Theophilus Freeman
Garret Dillahunt as Armsby
Scoot McNairy as Brown
Taran Killam as Hamilton
Chris Chalk as Clemens Ray
Michael K. Williams as Robert
Kelsey Scott as Anne Northup
Alfre Woodard as Mistress Harriet Shaw
Quvenzhané Wallis as Margaret Northup
Devyn A. Tyler as Adult Margaret Northup
Cameron Zeigler as Alonzo Northup
Rob Steinberg as Parker
Jay Huguley as Sheriff Villiere
Christopher Berry as James Burch
Bryan Batt as Judge Turner
Bill Camp as Radburn
Dwight Henry as Uncle Abram
Ruth Negga as Celeste