Movie – 12 Years A Slave [REVIEW] – The Extraordinary True Story Of Solomon Northup

IMDB Rating: 8,1/10
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Director: Steve McQueen
Writer: Solomon Northup
Stars: Chiwetel EjioforMichael Kenneth WilliamsMichael Fassbender


There is nothing wrong when discussing sensitive topics that often occurs in society or around us. They are never-endlessly debating religions, races, or groups that never culminate and always result in nothing. It’s not just America that has a depressing history at the time, all countries are like that including Indonesia where such cases always invite a lot of sparks from people who have no life always provoke an anger. Although this is the time for people to have their own rights, there are still some who still have superficial thoughts to understand life and humanity. So here’s a movie from Steve McQueen who won three Oscars in Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, and Best Writing. Not only that, the film also got 6 Oscars nominations. Just as American History X which has a sensitive topic, 12 Years A Slave isn’t much different from that but it’s based on a true story.

“12 Years A Slave,” is a movie based on a true story of someone trying to survive in order to reach his freedom. Set against a pre-Civil War in the United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a free, black man who lives in New York but is snatched and sold into slavery. Facing various kinds of pain due to his owner and meeting with various kinds of goodness, Solomon tries not to survive but wants to reach back his freedom.

Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave (2013)

12 Years A Slave is one of the films that I admit deserves to get the Best Picture award in 2014. Steve McQueen is one of the directors who are able to create a story that holds a heavy yet easy-to-understand theme for everyone. Hunger and Shame is another artificial film that gets some praise from critics. However, 12 Years A Slave is something that manages to pull the interest of a handful of people because of the formulaic theme. Stephen Spielberg’s Schindler’s List is a film that can make all the audience witnesses how humanity has disappeared from human beings. 12 Years A Slave may not be that much different from the movie but the topic that raises is about the exact about slavery in it such as torture. Solomon Northup’s life as a slave did require a lot of patience and pain that he had to lift. He witnessed all sorts of dark sides of the humanity for torturing, turning an object, even killing them. Steve McQueen managed to interpret it all with a painful and heart-wrenching until speechless. My sense of watching this movie even temporarily made me the most egregious human who ever existed, I felt that feeling and as if I had existed in a grubby place. It’s like to witness how someone wants to be free because of their race and why are there still people who are trying to create sparks from different races? Two hours that didn’t disappoint and not boring as long as I watch this movie. The narrative is still weak for giving a sympathy from the characters because this story is more focused on the Solomon himself so there is no background of the other characters either slave or slave owner.

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave (2013)

In addition, I just realized that the title of this movie is “12 Years” when I see the ending with a kinda touching but I don’t feel the things like “12 Years” is. All I feel is a few years not so long which means there are a lot of people who have opinions like this. Speaking of ending, I also don’t feel too much sympathy in the ending because it immediately comes suddenly so I don’t have time to express my heart. But, back again from Steve McQueen because the film has a presentation and interpretation that must be understood by many people so that he doesn’t want to make as complicated as possible. He also doesn’t half-hearted to bring in a lot of actors and actress, especially Michael Fassbender who is two of the films he has starring. His acting in this movie is amazing because he is the most scumbag and putrid person I’ever seen. His non-humanitarian character makes all the audiences hate his existence and he succeeds in making it. Therefore, he was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Performance category by an Actor in a Supporting Role. Likewise with Chiwetel Ejiofor exactly same as Michael who shows the tortured characters inside and outside. But I prefer Michael more because of his role that makes me speechless because of his character. In addition, Lupita Nyong’o also has a great performance and she got an Oscar award. There are a lot of memorable scenes that make me don’t want to see more of this movie especially the hanging scene and the Patsey whipped scene. Both of these scenes are supported with a great cinematographic and acting from the actor and actress is so great. Some of the more prominent actors are Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Brad Pitt although their roles are few but able to show the best performance for this movie. Don’t forget with a good score from Hans Zimmer who bolster everything into something which full of intense in every scene.


Overall, 12 Years A Slave is a movie that isn’t hesitant in the making and the story that discusses sensitive topics. This is one of the most depressed yet uplifting movies from Steve McQueen. He invited some big cast that showed their best performance. Various conflicts and memorable scenes make me speechless with this movie. Therefore, this is one of those movies that must be watched by people and you can find many messages that you can make as social values and humanity.

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