I know Precious (Based on the Novel “Push”, by Sapphire) has been on DVD for some time now, but it’s taken some time for me to be able to channel my feelings about this movie into words. Having gone to the premier of this film at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and sitting among likes of Will Smith, Mariah Carey, and so on, I thought I was in for a good little independent movie that made its way to the big time. All of that was sucked away by the first 3 minutes of the film.
There has never been a film that has provoked such ANGER in me. I wanted to try to get through this in one post, but much like my comrade Clinton and his Revenge of the Red Baron saga, I have too much to say too little time. I just ask that you indulge me for a bit. So let’s get to it shall we?
“Unforgettable”! “Exhilarating”! “Triumphant”!
What? Who the hell walked out of the theatre or living room feeling any of those things. Which goes to show that most critics are full of BS, or bribes? Yes my friends, these words were actually used to describe, Precious, (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire.) This is the latest CINEMATIC SHIT-FEST of director Lee Daniels (of Monsters Ball and Shadow Boxer fame), with the help of minstrel “producer” Tyler Perry, and their sugar-mama Oprah Winfrey. Hollywood brought this sanctimonious union together and in the words of Huel Howser, “oh boy, did the shit fly”.
After seeing this movie I was reminded of a Bible scripture, Acts 2:40 I believe, that says; “save yourselves from this corrupt generation”. I assume this scripture is to mean, save yourselves or stay clear from the bad influences around you. This movie is not only a product of the Hollywood Smug Machine (that special group in Hollywood that believes that it’s their job to make you feel guilty that your life isn’t too bad.) but, it’s also a product pure manipulation and greed. This is a movie put together by these three phonies fishing for an Oscar.
Oprah is the oil that keeps the Hollywood Smug Machine running. I completely expected this of her. And Tyler Perry has been on my hit list for years now, and though I would love to blast him off the page right now, I’m saving that for very special post. For now, I’m going after Lee Daniels, Hollywood’s proud Black/Gay director. Made famous for the Cinemax soft core erotica known as Monsters Ball, where we the audience are treated to healthy dose of a “cracked-out” Halle Berry and plenty of Billy Bob man-ass, Mr. Daniels now decides to take aim at “the Hood”.
As an African American myself, and having grown up in the “Hood”, I don’t fully understand who Mr. Daniels target audience was really supposed to be. But for the life of me I have to assume that he made this celluloid tripe to prick the misguided guilt of upper/middle class people who have no real clue about what goes in the inner city. I say this because, anybody from the Hood, if they are honest, will agree with me that this was pure BS! Lee Daniels is guilty of emotionally raping his audience. His intent was to punish those watching his film as much as the character herself. It was dishonest, and pretty indulgent. You could tell he read some book on Academy Award formulas and thought this was his way of getting a nomination. How stupid does he think we are? Well I guess the jokes on us, cause it looks like his Oscar plot worked. So, what do I know right?
Now let’s get to the reason behind all of this “BLACK RAGE” shall we. I’m going to tackle this from not only the point of view of a “boy from the Hood”, but from someone who considers himself a decent writer who generally loves movies.
Wow, where does one begin in dealing with the mental and emotional beat-down of sitting through a 90 minute torture-porn? Well let’s just start with what Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire), was all about. On paper, Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire) reads like this:
“In Harlem, an overweight, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.”
Doesn’t sound so bad now does it? And in all fairness, not having read the novel “Push” by Sapphire that the movie Precious was based on, maybe that’s how the story really plays out. But, unfortunately what the movie going audience was subjected to was a film that would make films like “Saw” and “Hostel” blush!
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT
So back to that IMDB description of Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire). Sure the movie took place in Harlem, and sure the teen girl in the film was illiterate and pregnant. But that my friends is just a microscopic piece of the pie.
See what that description didn’t tell you about this poor illiterate and pregnant BLACK teen is that 2 minutes into the film we see that poor Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire) is actually pregnant with her second child DUE TO the continual incestuous rape by the teen’s biological father. Add to that, her mother abuses the girl through, not only physical ass-kickings, but by also cutting her down with horrible words and forcing her overeat to make her unattractive to her physical father so the bastard would stop having sex with her. And to top it off, her first child (also by her father), is a 3 year old with a case of the Downs!
Oh yeah and of course, how could I forget, by the end of the movie we learn that Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire) has contracted AIDS from dear old dad. Realize that this movie takes place in 1987, which means for the most part, having AIDS is a death sentence!
“Unforgettable”! “Exhilarating”! “Triumphant”!
Oh, did mention that midway through the movie, that young, black, illiterate, overweight Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire) actually, get this, steals a bucket of fried chicken to eat on her way to school. Oh wait, no, you didn’t misread that, STEALS A BUCKET OF FRIED CHICKEN FOR BREAKFAST. But please, don’t take my word it. I have proof to back up my accusations. Just take a look at the clip below.
(YEP! THAT JUST HAPPENED!)
Oh I get it. She stole the fried chicken, because she’s black. Cause you know, we Negroes love us some fried chicken so damn much that if we don’t have the money for it, hey, we’s just up and steals it. Lee Daniels (Uncle Tom to some) believes that because he himself is black, he gets a pass for racial irresponsibility, much like his boyfriend Tyler Perry! (Ok, I’m not going to go there, I can’t go after Tyler Perry yet. Not yet, but it’s coming.) If any “white” director pulled that stereo-typical shyte in their films that Mr. Daniels felt the need to put into this one, they would have been run out of Hollywood.
BY THE WAY, A PLEA TO BLACK FOLKS (you can skip on past this part if you don’t fall into this category)
Now I have been chastised by many of my Black friends for not liking this movie, and to that I have to say, WAKE THE HELL UP YA’LL! Look, if I’m just keeping it real for a quick second, let me break it down to you like this. Many of you grew up in the hood the same way I did right? How many people do you honestly know like Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire)? Seriously, how many of you out there were so desperate for greasy ass fried chicken, that you actually stole a BUCKET from KFC? Let’s see a raise of hands. So hear me out on this, we know better than that right? We know that people in the Hood, just don’t really do that. BUT, for the upper/middle class people (or those in the Midwest) out there watching this BS all teary eyed and shit, grateful that they don’t need fried chicken as badly as we do, how many of them do you think, believe that those from the inner city are actually like Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire) out there? Probably most of us right? I’m sure they think stuff like that happens all the time in the ghetto. Most of us are all illiterate, dope dealing, drunk off malt liquor and fortified wines, thieving, unhealthy due to pigs feet and “chitlins” or what have you. I’m just saying folks, let’s not let the stereotypes run rampant in those who are not from where we are from ok? And let’s acknowledge a bad film, even if it has an all black cast. I mean, we all agree Leprechaun in the Hood is a bad movie right? Right?
OK, BACK TO THE MOVIE:
Much like the rape-happy father of the film, Lee Daniels continues his vicious assault of the audience. Every other scene is something tragic happening to this poor, fat, illiterate, abused, girl. The only ray of sunshine comes when Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire) has to attend a special school for poor, black, illiterate, abused girls, and she meets other young “ladies” like herself. Who she doesn’t like at first, but then becomes her created family (formula). She’s happy for a short time. Goes into labor with her second Downs baby, meets an attractive male nurse in the form of Lenny Kravitz who takes a liking to her. Really? Lenny Kravitz? SURE I BUY IT. WHY NOT? It is totally and utterly BELIEVABLE in Lee Daniels world.
So instead here we are at a point in the film where this girl with the tragic life has gotten custody of her 2 Downs children, has a job, is doing good in school, and gotten away from her abusive mother. She’s at a point where she can forge an unknown future. A point where if the director “RESPECTED” his audience, would leave the question out there whether she will be ok or not. But good old “Uncle Daniels” says screw that, let’s throw down the sledgehammer and bludgeon you over the head once more for good measure and all this good will that the character has been building is for nothing once Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire) discovers she’s AIDS POSITIVE IN 1987.
“Unforgettable”! “Exhilarating”! “Triumphant”!
Though the acting in the film was ok and slightly genuine, ladies and gentlemen, Lee Daniels is charlatan and a hack. This movie had an agenda, under the guise of telling an “impor-TANT” story. And what’s worse is that Mr. Daniels isn’t even a clever enough director to hide what he was doing. And to add even more insult once the movie finished, Lee Daniels and his brood took to the stage, and to my shock, received a standing ovation. I couldn’t have been the only sane voice yelling “BOO THIS MAN”, but apparently my lips were one of the few not participating in the “Hollywood Ass-kiss Rodeo” that that was taking place that night.
Do yourself a favor, if you’re feeling the need to have a good cry. I can think of a few things that might be more pleasant for you than watching this SHIT-ASTIC movie:
- Ripping your nails off with pliers
- Drinking bleach
- (if you’re a guy) Baiting an alligator with your junk
- Tabasco in the eyes
- Crowbar to the big toe
- (if you’re a guy) Watch a Kate Hudson rom-com
Funny enough, the theme song by Leona Lewis in the movie contains the chorus line “why does it hurt me” and wow, talk about on the nose, because I’m afraid thinking about this movie so much is actually starting to get a little painful. But if you do happen to find yourself watching Precious (based on the novel “Push”, by Sapphire) make sure it’s with plenty of good friends, good booze, and no sharp objects around.