A review of the new movie” Green Book”

We are back in the territory of “Driving Miss Daisy” but with a role reversal. Here the driver is white – a traditional, working-class, family-orientated Italian-American – while the passenger is black – an educated and cultured African-American pianist who is a lonely figure unable to identify with either black or white communities.

Another major difference is that this film is based on a true story of how in 1962 Tony Lip drove Dr Don Shirley around the American deep south for a series of concerts. The Green Book of the title was a guide to which establishments were prepared to accommodate blacks.

This is not the kind of work we have come to expect of director and co-writer Peter Farrelly who, with his brother, gave us such less thoughtful movies as “Dumb And Dumber”.

The examination of race relations is somewhat simplistic and sometimes the characters come across as rather stereotypical, while the Shirley family has challenged the friendship apparently forged on this road trip (the film is based on a book by a relative of Tony Lip).

Having said all this, the film manages to be worthy while entertaining and presents an uplifting message of how different individuals can change how each sees the world in a manner which brings people together – and, boy, do we need such a message right now.

Also the two central performances are outstanding: a paunchy Viggo Mortensen (“The Lord Of The Rings”) as Tony and Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”) as Dr Shirley. These are characters for whom we genuinely feel as each traverses the arc of transformation.


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>