‘Green Book’ Is A Transcending Tale That Unfurls An Emotional Odyssey
‘Green Book’ chronicles the early 1960’s story of two men; the mellifluous prodigy Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a wealthy, Black pianist living a comfortable life in New York and an uncouth, Italian ‘Soprano’ bouncer turned chauffeur Tony Vallelonga — whose worlds collide to form one of the most unexpectedly, heartfelt friendships in recent cinema.
The ’60s was when racism was a proliferating plague, and interestingly enough, ‘Green Book’ refers to a book that was published; ’The Negro Motorist Book’ which was an incredibly demeaning guide for African-American road trippers. The dramedy begins with Shirley wishing to initiate a tour Down South, and fully aware of the racial perils that haunt it, he hires the unkempt and unpolished Tony to be his chauffeur, but more importantly his protector — and thus begins the road-trip trope — and you might think it as the classic tool for many films to give leeway for their characters to embark on an adventure and stumble across a scatter of revelations. Yet unlike most introspective, Hollywood schmaltz road-trip journeys, this one stands out as a cinematic, spellbinding gem. The two protagonists are so different, and from the very beginning their persistent arguing, be it over Tony’s choice of music or Shirley requesting Tony to be a little less rugged, the two magnificent men — through this road-trip, form a lifelong bond as they experience an ebb and flow of rancid, racist moments. The film dives deeper into an emotional odyssey, and this is precisely why this tale is so potent. Viggo and Mahershala form an on-screen friendship that will transcend time.
Part of my ‘ 5-minute review’ series