Movie Analysis

Movie Analysis

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Movie Analysis


American revolution refers to a period during which British colonists in the United States rebelled against the requirements of the Great Britain. Many battles were fought during this period and led to the development of the United States. The revolutionary war was started in an attempt for rebels to gain their independence from England and lasted from 1775 to 1983. The group created a republic that was separate from the monarchical rule and differentiated themselves from the rest. In a bid to explain the American revolutionary, this study will analyze various movies among them being Hamilton, The Patriot, The Book of Heroes, and Drums Along the Mohawk.

The Book of The Negroes

The first set of this series follows through the life of Aminata Diallo (Aunjanue Ellis) who was abducted from Mali in 1706. This part has been powered by deep and moving performances by the young Shailyn Pierre Dixon, an 11-year-old girl playing the role of Aminata. The scenes showcase how the protagonist got captured and underwent strange experiences on her way to th American slavery (Icflix, 2015). The film was given a horrible beauty and sharp-focus dreaminess with diminished elucidation. Although one can feel the girl’s pain as she gets tossed from one place to another, it is evident that the actual life of slavery was deeper and more painful than it is played.

As the film progresses, one can envision that the points are shown more explicitly and the characters are arched such as to represent their stories from a vivid perspective in relation to historical significance. The tone of production showcases, as well as the performances, have shown the injustice involved in slavery and the audacity of the involved parties to see themselves as tender people with just measures.

In a bid to bring the effects of the revolutionary period into action, the director employed a creative cast with Aminata Diallo as the protagonist. After being sold to Allan Hawco (Solomon Lindo), Aminata’s life changes for the better especially after meeting with her lover Chekura (Lyriq Bent). Other characters to note included Cuba Gooding Jr (Samuel Fraunces) who helps her to return home. The miniseries could not be a success without the participation of Ben Chaplin (John Clarkson) and the blind preacher Loius Gossett Jr. (Moses) who encouraged Aminata continuously to keep her head high amidst the struggles. Others included Jane Alexander (Maria Witherspoon), Greg Bryk (Robertson Appleby), and Stephan James (Cummings Shakspear), among others.

The director motive to bring the best character in a slave woman was a success following the flawless representation of her skills, beauty, sense of style, and wisdom. As a young girl, Aminata is a skilled midwife after helping her mother severally to on the delivery desk. After her abduction, she learned to write, read, and speak English, aspects that made her stand out from other slaves. She is showcased as a clever and rather fearless character who is filled with self-possession and self-knowledge, that has facilitated her ability to survive from the beginning to the end (Icflix, 2015). Although she gets thwarted by the unfriendly circumstances, Aminata does not get discouraged. After watching the series, I felt that Aminata’s character was well represented as one of the bravest people in the world; she traded slap for a slap and no person had the power to dictate what she could or could not do. She stated repeatedly that one should never give up and instead, should hold onto hope steadfastly in wait for a better day

Relevant themes showcased in this miniseries are love, conflicts, struggles, conflicts, and death. The theme of love has been showcased in Aminata’s love interest to Chekura (Lyriq Bent) who becomes her husband in the end. As the miniseries progresses to the fifth episode, Revolution starts in New York. At this, Aminata takes the chance to escape in Canvas Town which is a black neighbourhood. Aminata is respected as a midwife in this community and is admired for her wisdom and literacy. Her love story also gets rekindled as she reunites with her lover Chekura.

On photography, it is evident that the film was not taken with a crane shot but rather moving shots that gave the movie a rather subjective experience. Rather than having Aminata move with the camera, one can note clearly that the camera moved with her such as to cause the viewer to get tuned with her life. However, although Aminata is sad and dark, the director (Clement Virgo) made a successful attempt to showcase Aminata from a rather transcendental angle instead of a dark and miserable perspective by adopting a mixture of colour palettes.

Another visible endeavour from photography is that of intimacy. The movie managed to tell Aminata’s from an intimate perspective without making it appear as a mere spectacle. As such, the camera provided an intimate and subjective experience instead of swopping shots in order to create emotional and psychological experiences. Although the view was intended to show a story that was filled with brutality, the visuals and camerawork employed managed to cause the audience to feel the story with intensity rather than just from the brutal and horror perspective like the 12 Years of Slavery. In the first scenes, the movie has a rather naturalistic palette allowing the young Aminata to view the world from a rather rosy perspective.

The dressing has shown historical significance as the cast was dressed in an old-fashioned manner yet beautiful manner. Although Aminata is a slave, it is clear that her clothes are not messy and dirty, an aspect that set the viewer off since it is from the ordinary perception of a slave in the 1700s.

The struggle that the protagonist undergoes with her slave master, Robinson Appleby is evident in the struggle that slaves often endured in the south with their masters. The slave master insists that Aminata was legally his slave, an aspect that reminds me of the case of Dred Scott Vs. Sanford in 1857 following the Missouri Compromise (Icflix, 2015). Although Aminata manages to reunite with her husband Chekura and moves to Nova Scotia, her life has undergone a complicated and painful journey that can be likened to that of Eliza in the book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Stowe as she made attempts to escape with her husband George Harry.

This application can be applied successfully in the study of the American revolution by drawing comparison of the slavery amongst the Southerners and abolitionists by the Northerners. It is through such efforts that the United States managed to become a free state through the Civil war in 1963 (Icflix, 2015). Although the movie shows the painful brutality of the African-Americans, the attempts of people like Lawrence Hill to bring brutality on Africans to light has succeeded

Although the miniseries feels as though it was rushed, it was successful at showcasing the slavery in the South. Although this movie did not showcase the life of the slaves in a profound manner as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, the miniseries was successful at addressing the painful history of slavery in the south. Additionally, the movie expanded the story beyond New York to Canada and Africa, providing a

Drums along the Mohawks

Drums Along the Mohawk is an American classic that was released in 1939 under the direction of John Ford. This is an American Revolution movie that is starred by Gilbert Martin as Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert as his wife. Together, they have set their mind to establish their farm when the Revolutionary war starts. The Indians who are collaborating with the British burn their farms, an action that causes outrage amongst the citizens who gather at Fort Herkimer in a bid to fight for their lands (HD Retro Trailers, 2018). Although they return victorious, the group has many casualties. After a long period of peace on the farm working for Mrs McKlennar, the valley gets attacked again, changing the people’s lives significantly.

Ford’s aspect of composition is striking in this film which was his first technicolour piece of art. From the designs of the title credits, one can see homelike crocheted scenes that showcase Ford’s need to represent a domestic emphasis in the film. Lana is pictured in her new home before a fire with her back to the camera to show the dismay caused by the situation. At this, Gil the husband draws close to her and smiles at her as though to provide assurance that it shall be well and that he is the dominant partner. Following the attack by the Indians, Gil and Lina get a crib at Mrs McKlennar, where they are shown to face the fireplace, suggesting their equality as both are caught up and their powers are diminished.

One can also evidence a striking aspect of photography when Indians burn Mrs McKlennar’s farm and Gil reacts to the two drunken men. Martin is shown threshing in a long shot as smoke is seen billowing from the house, after which Gil reacts leading to another shot where we see Gil riding abruptly to the trouble. At this, one also realizes that Mrs McKlennar’s is infused with humour as she interacts with the two Indians as she persuades them to take her bed downstairs. Aspects of comedy are also evidenced when Rosenkrantz explains that there is nothing good that can be spoken of individuals from Massachusetts. Gil also becomes the main centre of attention during Lana’s lengthy birth process amid a group of drunken men.

Lana, a wealthy woman leaves her comforts in Albany, New York with Gil to a sparsely populated region in Mohawk Valley. After Indians raid the valley, Gil and Lana are aware that life is not for the weak and that they should work hard to protect themselves ((HD Retro Trailers, 2018). At this, Ford managed to showcase an accurate depiction of the frontier life such as neighbours gathering and square dances to assist in clearing the land, which is done in loving harmony, as God-fearing people. The community is happy and they do not suffer the loneliness that torments the settlers.

The theme of love, self-sacrifice, and endurance, is also showcased as Lana leaves her luxurious life and settles with Gil in the valley. Although she is initially hysterical, she proves her capability to bear all hardships presented in the frontier, as she shows a strong character. At this, Ford makes a successful attempt to portray the agony experienced as women wait for men to return after having an encounter with armies. Like most directors, Ford did not sugarcoat the effects of the war and instead, he showed the fear, trauma, anger, and courage, amongst the people following the raids. The film shows accurately the fear that settlers had about the Indian raids and the frustration felt in pursuing a group of enemies that could overpower you and melt into nothingness at the blink of an eye.

Listening to the preacher gives me the idea that Ford tried to showcase a moral worldview of Christians filled with prayers, weddings, sermons, generosity, and a lifestyle that revers God. The film has pro-capitalist content and patriotic content as the settlers work in harmony to improve their local economy (HD Retro Trailers, 2018). After finishing the film, I realized that it did not have any foul language or sex scenes although it had reasonable battle scenes and dying and injured troops are shown to return home after the battle. The movie has avoided the use of objectionable scenes except for some mild scenes of drunkenness and brief alcohol use.

Although Ford made an American Revolution movie without including the British, it is understandable that he was attempting to remain safe by avoiding to showcase the British as villains when they were engaging in battle against the Nazis. However, one cannot fail to appreciate the fact that Ford managed to showcase the American revolution from a rather positive perspective, than usual.

The Patriot

The movie, The Patriot provides the viewers with an intuitive glimpse into the life of Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson), an American farmer during the 18th century. Benjamin takes the lead role in the movie and his life assumes a rather oppressive and disheartening circumstance. The movie has several characters including Gabriel (Heath Ledger) Benjamin’s elder son and other children. The movie has also showcased Charlotte, sister to Benjamin’s late wife. The director Roland Emmerich also included other participants including Lt. William Tavington and British soldiers, among others.

The movie has showcased aspects of action, drama, and history about the occurrence of the American Civil War in the 1770s. The movie has depicted Americans fighting for freedom against the British military, Indians, and the French, in which Benjamin Martin showed his heroic nature. However, the death of his wife caused him to refuse to return to war after the battle with the British intensified since he wanted to take care of his children, live a peaceful life, and manage the flower plantation (Youtube Movies, 2000). Although Martin is against this kind of lifestyle, his eldest son Gabriel and Thomas have already enlisted in the “Continental Army.” The film presents a story that is filled with perseverance, passion, and livelihood with the need for brave individuals without any self-pity. A closer analysis of the film shows the depiction of technology, Revolutionary War era-life, and relationships.

While Martin is showcased as a humble and virtuous father, Tavington is evil and sadistic monster especially after he burned a church that was filled with a group of innocent men, children, and women after locking its doors. This scene reminded me of the Nazi massacre in Oradour-Sur-Glane, French villagers in 1944. In war and attacks, the movie adopted the use of specific weaponry including the pistols (flintlock pistol), muskets (brown-bess musket), and cannons (smooth bore cannon), among others.

The theme of politics is showcased as slaves are shown as being rather cheerful and have freedom like civilians, an aspect that causes slavery in the region to be deemed as non-existent. However, although Gabriel says that all men are equal before God, this is considered a rather political attempt rather than the true situation (Youtube Movies, 2000). Taking into consideration the time that The Patriot was set, it is evident that the movie did not depict the true situation of slavery considering that it took the efforts and death of men during the civil war to bring slavery to an end, years after The Patriot had been released into the market.

The theme of sex was also showcased although it did not depict the actual status of events on the ground. Although Gabriel Martin was allowed to have a night before his wedding with his lover on condition that his mother sewed a bundling bag for him, this was not an accurate illustration as it was the girl who was supposed to get a bundling bag instead of the boy. In reality, the parents often shared a room with the couple to prevent premarital pregnancies.

Although Emmerich made an attempt to emulate Braveheart and The Last of the Mohicans’ none of them can be likened to this movie favourably. Unlike these movies, The Patriot has showcased the American Revolution by blending feelings, ferocity, action, and drama. The story showed a battle-filled story of violence, guilt, and karma that is set against the rough conditions of the American Revolution. A fascinating perspective of this film is the struggle that Martin is experiencing. Martin has been carrying the guilt of his actions as a result of his participation in the Indian and French war. Under the influence of his wife, Martin always desired to change his life for the better. However, he cannot prevent his actions from haunting him and his family. On this, he states the fear that his actions would haunt his family someday. From a Christian perspective, Martin and his sons are suffering for his actions and his participation in atrocities and massacres that created a load of Karmic consequences that he and his family must suffer. Following the death of his sons, Martin fails to contain the rage in his heart; in the end, he takes the hatchet and sets out to fulfil the rage in his soul.


Hamilton is a musical movie that was constructed around the life of Alexander Hamilton. Through the application of various theatrical methods and innovative musicals, the movie took me through the biography of a politician and invited the audience to contemplate on the momentous and dramatic revolution as well as the founding of the United States. The musical is rather educative and informative owing to the accurate integration of traditional musicals and hip-hop to communication. As I was watching, I could tell of the ingenious integration of various elements, catchy score and flawless rendering (Detti, 2017). Through music, I was able to understand that the story was about Alexander Hamilton which was told through the application of modern tactics in an attempt to assist people of colour to view themselves from the perspective of the country’s history by spreading the story further beyond the property owned by the whites.

The musical has been constructed around the life of Alexander Hamilton who is the protagonist to explain how he rose and fell during the American Revolution. Hamilton did not have the opportunity to enjoy an easy life like most children since he was orphaned and born to a poor family, an aspect that caused him to become overly ambitious. As a passionate and opinionated man, Hamilton manages to rise above the criticism of those around him as he believes in the ability to become the best version of himself. In later scenes, Hamilton gets close to George Washington and becomes his right man in the revolutionary wars (Detti, 2017). He becomes the secretary of the Treasury; however, the election of John Adams causes his removal from the president’s cabinet. Nevertheless, his influence was still significant considering that he facilitated the structure of the financial system and the coast guard. As a result of the great influence, he faces resentment from various people including Madison, Aron Burr, and Jefferson, among others.

The main themes highlighted in this movie are legacy, history, conflicts, reputation, and time. The need for Hamilton to build a legacy has consumed the entire movie particularly his willingness to die and risk his marriage by publicizing his affair in a bid to preserve the reputation of his legacy. The ethical lives of the characters are driven by the fact that every person has a history and legacy. Conflicts and revolution also play a significant role in shaping Hamilton’s success and fame in his participation in the national government. Hamilton involvement in conflict makes him believe that it is the only way that the country could independence and stand out historically (Detti, 2017). At one point in the movies, Hamilton wishes that war was existing amongst them in order to prove that they were worth and that they deserved their honour. This undying determination is what differentiates from other characters in the movie such as Burr who does not stand to protect anything unless it works to his advantage.

The movie has historical significance in that it was set during American Revolution and has various similarities with the musical 1776 in that both are musical and have adopted a simple plot with a wide array of political and personal conflicts. Both movies tell the story of fierce debates and can be applied in explaining the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The movie has represented the American revolution perfectly through the conflicts of Hamilton and Burr. However, although Hamilton is more ambitious, the movie ends in a rather disappointing nature following the death of Hamilton although he was the protagonist in the movie.


In Drums Along the Mohawk, John Ford was successful at presenting the American patriots from a brave and God-fearing perspective. The movie was constructed along with various themes including courage, prayer, endurance, and self-sacrifice. Unlike most movies produced during this period, it does not have scenes of alcohol use, sex, or foul language. The Patriot is a clear depiction of the life that people lived and persevered during the revolutionary war. Although the movie has introduced themes of love and drama particularly with the love story between Gabriel and Anne, it is evident that the weaponry and life showcased was accurate, making it a rather reliable source of historical depiction particularly in relation the period during the industrial revolution when Britain conquered Barbados. The Books of Negroes and Hamilton have also portrayed the subject of the American Revolution from a rather narrow yet satisfying manner.


Detti (2017 October 4). Hamilton: An American Musical | FULL SOUNDTRACK W/ LYRICS [Online]. Retrieved from Retro Trailers (2018 April 23). Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) ORIGINAL TRAILER [HD 1080p]. Retrieved from (2015 May 5). The Book of Negroes Trailer HD – icflix [Online]. Retrieved from Movies (2000). The Patriot (2000) – Trailer. Retrieved from