Worth The Spotlight: “Hidden Figures”


After the “Remember The Titans” release in 2000, it seemed that’s all Hollywood wanted to give us: American sports drama films about the discrimination and beginnings of integration in the the 1960’s. The lesser known “Glory Road” (2006) and the awful “We Are Marshall” (2006) didn’t incite the same positive audience response. Now, period-dramas like “The Help,” (2011) and “12 Years A Slave,” (2013) opened the door for Academy Awards nominated dramas on the same subject. While on a different spectrum than “Remember The Titans,” “Hidden Figures,” still has the same formula: struggle, gifted characters, an unlikely hero, and triumph. Most importantly, this film gets it right.

“Hidden Figures” succeeds in telling the story of the characters and not just focusing on the crucial contribution of Katherine Johnson (Taraji Henson), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), and Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) in the Race for Space. The actresses’ portrayal showcased their minds, but didn’t make their work their life. Their family and their discrimination at home didn’t take a backseat to their success and mathematical and engineering skills.

The film is a one of struggle, but it definitely has a feel-good side to it. Our heroines, while incredible and accomplished, are relatable, unlike the usual genius we see in films. The relatability of the characters sells the fact that these were real women and not just characters of a movie.

As it is the true story of these women’s contribution to John Glenn’s orbit around Earth in 1962, the real life footage the film incorporated didn’t look lazy or out of place like other historical films.

As someone who enjoys watching serious movies, watching it with my friends actually wasn’t as annoying as I thought it was going to be. The movie was very easy to follow, so after a friend distracted me for a bit, I wasn’t completely at a loss on the plot. So if you’re not into serious movies, and a family member/friend wants to watch “Hidden Figures,” it won’t be a waste of your time; you won’t have to think too much, and you won’t be depressed by the end. Overall, the movie was definitely worth my allowance.