This is one of the most memorable lines from The Butler, the number one movie in the U.S box office hit today.
I was privileged to watch the premiere of the film for free last August 20. Yay!
The advance screening was held at SM Aura at Taguig, it was my first time to see the newest mall in Bonifacio Global City and experienced free food and drinks before the showing. Yahoo! It was supposedly to start around 6 in the evening but the premiere happened, 7:30 because of some technical difficulty.
The movie is inspired by a true story of a butler who had served eight presidents from 1952 to 1986. It was based from the life of Eugene Allen, an African-American who was born on a Virginia plantation.
Director Lee Daniel decided to change the name of Eugene Allen to Cecil Gaines as well as some of the characters and events to add dramatic effects which I found effectively!
Why you should watch The Butler?
Listed below are my reasons why you should not miss the film and some spoilers.
1. Cecil Gaines’ tragic childhood
As the film roll on, Forest Whitaker, the guy who portrayed Cecil Gaines sat on a chair remembering his childhood days. I was surprised to see Mariah Carey as Hattie Pearl, the mother of Cecil who had been raped by Thomas Westfall (Alex Pettyfer), the plantation owner were Cecil’s parents work. Earl Gaines (David Banner), Cecil’s father was shot by Westfall. Cecil’s mother got crazy and the young boy eventually allowed leaving the field to become a ‘pantry man’ or a ‘house nigger’. (Nigger was a term used for Black Americans before they were called Negro.)
2. The road of being a White House ‘Butler’
Cecil decided to leave the plantation. He had applied for work but no one accepted him because he did not go to school and because he is a black American. At that time, there was already a racial discrimination with Black Americans. Hungry and angry, Cecil stole a cake from a restaurant but instead of reporting the incident, the main butler took Cecil. He taught him the proper ways and behavior of a butler which Cecil immediately learned.
He then worked as a Maitre d’ hotel in a restaurant where he met his wife, Gloria (Oprah Winfrey) and he landed a job as a butler at White House because an administrator from the president’s home was impressed with his work.
3. Family struggle and conflict
While Cecil’s work as a butler was truly admirable, his relationship with his family is struggling. His eldest son Louis (who is a fictional character) is ashamed of his father’s job who is contented in serving white people.
He left the house and studied in Fisk University where he joined a group who was fighting for the rights of discriminated Americans.
The tension between the father and son heightened when Louis disrespected Cecil, continued to be imprisoned on jails and even joined Black Panther, a movement that opposed during Richard Nixon’s term.
Cecil’s youngest son Charlie (Eugene Allen’s real son) who served as a soldier in Vietnam, died and left the family devastated. Meanwhile, his wife Gloria who wrangled with alcohol had an affair with their neighbor.
4. The Butler in the White House
Cecil served from President Dwight Eisenhower to President Ronald Reagan.
He was being praised for great job and he was also been asked about ‘politics’. Cecil even requested with two presidents that equal pay should be given to black and white staffs that perform the same level of duties but unfortunately, both presidents rejected the idea. Nancy Reagan seen the butler’s superb performance and she invited Cecil and Gloria to attend a state dinner.
5. Leaving the post
The main butler, who taught Cecil when he was still working at a restaurant, informed him that black butlers wear two masks. One is showing their true faces while the other face is shown when they perform their task in front of white people. During the state dinner, Cecil felt like an outsider and traitor with his race while his wife is enjoying herself being surrounded by rich and famous. The nagging feeling and hearing that Reagan would stop the sanctions against South African apartheid pushed the butler to resign from his post. Cecil then joined Louis who was protesting in front of US Embassy. He experienced to be inside a jail but he was happy that he was been reunited with his son.
6. A Dream Come True
Cecil witnessed in 2009 that a black American finally became a president. He and his wife are huge supporters of Obama. In the end, Gloria died and Cecil was invited to meet President Obama.
The Butler is a historical drama movie that I enjoyed not only for its all star ensemble cast but for the tremendous acting which made me laugh and cry, remarkable lines and winsome plot that truly deserved to be on the top of the box office. It was my first time to see Forest Whitaker as a protagonist and I’m already a fan. My heart goes to the friendly butler who performed his duty outstandingly, who kept quiet with the White House secrets and who highly served the U.S presidents for so many years. A round of applause also goes to Oprah Winfrey who portrayed the troubled wife amazingly and the rest of actors who made The Butler, an unforgettable film.
You’d better catch it tomorrow; August 21 in the cinema houses near you. Be move and touch with the life of The Butler.
Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVECkxC5JqM&list=HL1377001501
Perksbewithyou rating: 9.5/10