12 Years a Slave is the unfortunate true story of Solomon Northup in pre-civil war America. He was a free man with a wife and two kids until he was tricked into getting drunk and abducted. From here he is sold to a man who isn't as bad as he should be given the circumstances, but after a few years Solomon is sold off to a man with no kindness in his heart and is known for breaking through to his slaves.
12 Years a Slave is a brutal and realistic look on salvery in the 1800s. There are various scenes in the film that are very brutal and unsettling to watch, one in particular that features a graphic whipping and aftermath. The upsetting and frustrating thing about it is that it's a realistic take on slavery. It makes me very angry to see that this is how humans used to treat other humans all because of the colour of their skin. I didn't find the film to be as hard to watch as people were making it out to be, but it's still a very brutal and upsetting movie.
Every single performance in the film was outstanding. There are so many big names in this film such as Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and many more and all of them do a terrific job. It's not just the already famous cast that were terrific either, everyone in this film was amazing. The main actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor nearly brought me to tears at so many times and to honest I'm surprised I wasn't in tears at many moments in this film. He just did an outstanding and unforgettable performance.
Steve McQueen does an amazing job at directing this masterpiece of a movie. McQueen wasn't really overly well known before this film, but I can assure you he will be in no time. His direction and cinematography was just incredible. He was able to show all the brutal and bloody beatings while rarely showing a whole lot of the lashes or a large amount of blood. Yes there was one scene where he did and it was, in my opinion, the most disturbing moments of the whole film.
Michael Fassbender's character is just this brutal slime of a person. I feel that I must comment on him rather than the vicious Paul Dano or the slightly giving yet still harsh Benedict Cumberbatch because it was Fassbender's character that was the most unlikeable of the lot. Fassbender gives such an incredible performance in this film as this despicable character that doesn't have an ounce of humanity. He beats, whips and rapes his slaves and literally sees them as property as he says so many times. He doesn't care who he hurts or upsets so long as he gets out of them what he wants. He was without a doubt the most cruel and unfair of all the characters.
To sum up 12 Years a Slave is a brutal, realistic, upsetting and unfortunate true story full of amazing performances, great cinematography, superb direction and a slime of an antagonist. It's an incredible, must see film.