Friday, July 23, 2021

Joe Bell - Movie Review

The Movie: Joe Bell

The Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green

The Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Reid Miller, Connie Britton, Gary Sinise

The Story: The true story of a small town, working class father who embarks on a solo walk across the U.S. to crusade against bullying after his son is tormented in high school for being gay.

The Review:
Before watching this movie I didn't know anything about the real life story that it's based on although as the events unfolded on screen I realized I had heard about Joe Bell before in a news story but that's about it. This is definitely an important story to tell as it centers on bullying and the fallout that type of behavior can create especially when it's directed towards the LBGTQ community. I mean, this stuff is still happening every single day all over the place and the only thing that will ever change that is to bring awareness to the fact that it is wrong.

Mark Wahlberg is tasked with playing the type of man who you would think might fall into a more conservative and less tolerant line of thinking just based on where he lives and the type of background he grew up in although we quickly see that the love Mr. Bell has for his family trumps everything else. Within the framework of the story director Reinaldo Marcus Green shows us that stereotypes are very real and very valid and for good reason yet there are also plenty of people who defy that type of labelling and it's important that we understand how everyone deserves an equal chance to be treated like a human being.

Wahlberg turns in a solid performance with the best moments being the ones where he is out on the road interacting with his son Jadin who is played by Reid Miller, a young man who is equally up to the task. The moments they share are very heartfelt and strong especially when you consider the context of these interactions and how they are woven into the narrative. I will say t hat I enjoyed the movie and all the messaging that it contains and yet it also felt like it was lacking a spark or an energy that could have made it a much more powerful and emotional experience. That being said, much respect to everyone involved for getting this story out there, I hope everyone takes the time to check it out.

The Verdict:
Joe Bell hits the road with a strong message about bullying and how just existing as an LGBTQ person can be a harrowing existence. Let's all take a moment and consider that being respectful and kind is always the best option no matter who we are interacting with. We're all human beings who deserve the right to live in peace and happiness without fear and without feeling threatened.

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