Based on the true story of Aretha Franklin’s life, the movie follows Aretha (Jennifer Hudson) as a child singing in her father’s (Forrest Whitaker) church choir to her rise to fame as an international superstar.
There was a lot about Ms. Franklin that I did not know and so I found Respect to be rather interesting. I had no idea that she went through so much at such a young age that my heart broke for her several times. I have always enjoyed watching biopics and this one was no exception. The few things that worked did so very well while there were other aspects that could have been better.
Jennifer Hudson, for starters, was the standout of the show. I had a feeling that she would be and while I haven’t been a fan of her work in the past, one thing is for sure and it’s the fact that she can sing! I don’t see how anybody else could have stepped into this role and I understand why Ms. Franklin handpicked Hudson herself. The fact that they spent such a long period of time working on this special project showed.
The other cast members such as Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, Marlon Wayans, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige all helped to bring their notable characters to life. In addition, I felt like I was transported to this time and was mostly stuck into the story throughout.
While the movie was capitivating enough, I have to admit that I felt there was something missing. I can’t exactly put my finger on it though. Maybe there needed to be better closure on some of the plot points. It seemed like we jumped around a lot and like things weren’t tied up properly. I definitely could have used some more singing as well. I don’t care that we’ve already heard Respect or Think, I wanna hear it another TEN times. It was also a little bit too long and the pacing too slow.
All that being said, I still think that Respect was a story that I won’t soon forget. JHud blew this out of the water and I loved seeing her return to the types of roles that she does best. I wouldn’t be surprised if this sparked some award nominations in the near future.
Rating: ♥♥♥. 5