‘12 Years a Slave’ creates riveting scenes, yielding mixed emotions

Kevin Herberling, Contributing Writer

Based on actual events, “12 Years a Slave” is a beautifully tragic tale of a free African American, during the pre-Civil War era, being kidnapped and sold into slavery.

During his unfortunately long time as a slave Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is forced to hide who he really is for fear of death, all the while being heavily utilized by the plantation owners for his education and musical talents.

Chiwetel Ejiofor did an outstanding job. Throughout the entire film I found myself forging a bond with his character, feeling what he felt, crying when he cried, and experiencing joy in those few appropriate moments when one could muster up the courage for such an emotion.

Apart from Chiwetel Ejiofor´s brilliant acting, there was a multitude of notable Hollywood stars that did an equally amazing job, such as Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender.

Among those just listed, Michael Fassbender plays the biggest role by far. He has a similar role to that of Skylar from “Breaking Bad,” in the respect that you will absolutely love to hate him. If you happen to be a Brad Pitt fan, do not get too excited as he only plays a fairly minor roll.

However, he does have a chillingly inspirational monologue in one of the few scenes that he is in. Basically if you love Brad Pitt, you will love him even more when this movie is through.

Enough has been said about the actors without properly paying homage to the director of this heartbreaking drama, Steve McQueen. Too many movies that are centered on infamous tragedies, such as slavery, hurry through the inhumane scenes because they are hard to stomach. But not this film.

This movie specifically hones in on the vicious brutalities that were experienced by the victims of the slave trade and makes sure you experience it with them, at length I might add. At times, I didn´t know whether I should cry or vomit. All in all, this is a riveting and emotional picture that is sure to leave you breathless.