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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz

Green Book

“A Sacred Treasure”

Films have a funny way of bringing to our attention stories that most of us probably never knew about. Green Book, which is about the friendship between Dr. Don Shirley, a brilliant African-American pianist and Tony Vallelonga, an Italian bouncer from the Bronx, is a dedicated service to the very emotion we call love. In need of a driver and protection for a cross country concert tour, Vallelonga is hired to escort Shirley across the deep south in a time of extreme racism and brutality.

What makes Green Book so independent from other films is that it never tries to be something it’s not. It’s not meant to service audiences, it’s meant to inspire them, which it does with flying colors. Sometimes, lightning bolts can be so strong, they cause cracks in the earth. Green Book is its own forecast and it’s sunny all the way.

Especially with the performances of Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. Tony Vallelonga is the best performance of Mortensen’s career because once he dives into his character the moment he comes on screen, he never comes up for air.

Ali is already an acting masterclass as you can’t take your eyes off him. Sometimes, characters are meant to be studied but you don’t need to with him. He always lets on every emotion he feels. He’s never ashamed of it. Emotion shows humanity and he is of the most beautiful of the human soul. Those who try to reason with bullies and racists as opposed to showing anger always seem to get a harder time because you can’t reason with evil, but Ali’s performance shows that this is not a form of weakness or giving up but one of the bravest things a person can do. There’s a line - "It takes courage to change people’s hearts." Yes, it does, and Green Book will change the hearts of people throughout the world. The cinematography of Green Book is a sacred treasure, especially when rain and snow are involved. By blinking, you could dim the lights any way you chose and always get the same results: Beauty at its core.

In conclusion, I’ll say that sometimes there are films that are so good it’s almost scary to watch them a second time. Green Book is not one of those films. You’ll want to see it again and again you will. What this film has to teach society is its biggest accomplishment and to that I smile and say: Congratulations.

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