“Falling in love with you was the easiest thing I have ever done”
– me seeing Mahershali Ali in every one of his incredible suits.
I knew the title Green Book sounded familiar. And after racking my brain, I realised it was in a dismal day in Memphis as we made our way to the civil rights museum and tried to learn more about the history of America – none of which we’d ever comprehend.
It was in that museum that I had seen the green book – a staple of African Americans when wanting to travel the vast expanse of America with as little aggression as possible. It highlighted hotels, restaurants and different amenities that welcomed and accommodated African Americans among the treachery of Jim Crow laws and ingrained prejudice.
In Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, this guidebook is handed to Tony Lip (Vigo Mortensen) before he embarks on a tour of the Deep South with Don Shirley – an African American piano virtuoso.
The pair are the antithesis of each other. Tony Lip is a quick-talking hustler whereas Don Shirley is an articulate, well-spoken and talented musician, wanting to perform amidst the bigotry.
It’s in these differences that they grow closer, with interlinking character arcs so masterfully developed throughout the film, you feel the ascension vividly in the slightest moments. Mahershala Ali has the skill to transition from immaculate composure to broken vulnerability effortlessly, leaving you in complete awe.
I try here (and fail) to get across the sheer joy, angst and rage this film bestows upon even the most passive viewer. I put it as my favourite of 2019 and consider it one of the few films that lives up to the buzz.
Green Book will warm your heart, make you cry and take you on a journey of friendship between two men over a couple of months in a couple of hours, so strap in.
It’s a 5/5 all day. I’m going to take everyone to this film.
Audience rating: Empty theatre. The only other people in there booked the two seats right next to us. Strange? Yes.