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Movie Review: Milk (English) 91

For those who thought that the US was always a free country, movies like this show the struggle that minority groups have had to put up in order to get their voices heard. If abolition of slavery and acceptance of darker skin took so long to come by, surely, LGBT citizens who were termed ‘queers’, must have found the climb harder, beginning with Harvey Bernard Milk being the first openly gay man elected to a public office.

Being a Biopic, Milk seems more like an intense documentary. Opening in 1978 where Sean Penn who plays Harvey Milk is recording his message that is to be read out in the event of his assassination, the movie unfolds itself amidst the first person narrative. It traces back to 1970 when Milk began his journey from being an Insurance executive to a businessman, activist and a political leader to his election to the San Francisco Board.

Moving into the Castro District of San Francisco, Milk starts off with a shop ‘Castro Camera’ and then moves on to be a successful businessman and also emerges as a champion of gay rights. Milk is shown trying his luck running unsuccessfully for political office thrice, but his popularity was on the rise. His election in 1977 those 11 months in power leads him to introduce bills for gay rights in the city, and also makes enemies.

Towards the end, set in 1978, we are shown Milk and his Mayor being killed by Dan White, his fellow city supervisor owing to obvious conflict between the liberals and conservatives. The internet tells that Milk turned a martyr for gay rights. Well, for all his awards, Sean Penn surely had lots of guts to play gay and kiss men on screen! His keenness for Opera can remind you of Tom Hanks in the path breaking ‘Philadelphia’!

Milk comes across as a neatly made absorbing movie but something still seemed amiss; probably a familiar feature in most biographies or possibly just a disconnect in nativity, from an Indian perspective. Cinematography with a 70’s touch is very well done; the shot of a reflection over a whistle was the best. Sean Penn‘s prosthetic nose and change in appearance to suit the role. But the movie’s length makes you lose track at times.

One curious point! All through the movie, it’s really hard to even find a tinge of feminine glamour or even an occasional pretty face. Worse still for the ladies, the men on screen are shown Gay! So, if you’re looking for usual eye candies on screen, keep away from this one. Considering that fact that the story had to empathize for LGBT rights, the movie makers had no other choice! All that stands out though, is Sean Penn’s amazing acting!

Rating: 6/10 – A decent movie though. Watch it for the amazing Acting.
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