Movies

News of the World (Movie Review)

TOM HANKS doesn’t make bad movies, though he has been part of so many great ones that many, like this one, are merely “good” or “worthwhile.” News of the World takes place not long after the Civil War-where a  lot of things had been disrupted, of course, and not yet returned to their proper place [Over 150 years later this remains true]. There aren’t many jobs that allow you to earn a living to avoid going home, but Hank’s character, Captain Kidd, found one.

Part  performer, part civil servant, and former soldier, Kidd travels about the Middle West to read to townspeople from a collection of domestic newspapers. He has to be part diplomat, too,

Part  performer, part civil servant, and former soldier, Kidd travels about the Middle West to read to townspeople from a collection of domestic newspapers. He has to be part diplomat, too

because in every audience he is sure to have sensitive and opposing viewpoints on the state of national politics and the reconstruction.

In his travels, Kidd encounters a young blond girl who was violently separated from her caretaker only to learn she speaks no English. The mystery is gradually revealed and the itinerant deliverer of news tasks himself with the return of the young girl to her proper place.

I take no pleasure in reporting that some of the problems the pair encounters seem too familiar considering the setting is the late 1860s: take away the horses, the carriages, and the candlelit rooms, and it’s not hard to recognize the plagues of racism and injustice that somehow still exist.

On a lighter note, one theme of the story might be that God (and/or The Universe) often does things for people that they they cannot do for themselves.

 

WRH

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