Before John Glenn orbited around the Earth, or Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, a group of hard-working women known as ‘human computers’ wrote the base equations for launching rockets and the well-known astronauts into space. They were some of the most potential minds of their generation. Originally they used to teach mathematics in public schools in the south. They were called to serve during World War II when the United States aviation industry was truly in need of someone with very good knowledge.
Hidden Figure is an old-fashioned story that makes the reader understand such discrimination and refusal some people were dealing with due to sexism and racism. And that tries to give the reader hope because despite the high effect those girls did for dealing with this discrimination that the world was suffering, especially in the United States, there are still too many things to change.
Impeccably acted and full of details that perfectly place it in a very specific period of time. (The months before John Glenn’s historic mission to space). It is a film that addresses strong and even relevant issues, but without becoming too dramatic. In my opinion, considering the topic they are talking about, they should have made it even more dramatic.
Our main characters are three geniuses who work at NASA basically working machine-like. Katherine is the best to perform the calculations that can lead them to achieve this space mission, but everybody keeps rejecting working with her. Dorothy has a leading mentality and is always aiming to learn and improve, but despite that, she is very far from the promotion she deserves and Mary is the example of the engineer that NASA needs, but it seems impossible to certify her career. They are who made the difference to perform all the calculations that are necessary to send the first human being into space.
This story happens at the same time as it does the cold war, which actually leads to a revolution, not only for her. So it affected employees in NASA and the entire world. Their actions changed the world in such a better way. And as the movie is called, it made the world know of the talents of women or black people that were hidden figures.
Although the drawing of three talented women who are facing a racist world that reacts to them as a danger, because they knew their potential and they do not want to face it. The lack of temperament in the script and the good acting make the film go to another higher level. The level is so high that feels difficult to deepen and hurt a little more, so they do enough to get out of this optimistic tone that does not help the story considering the tough topic is it about. They make us guess an ending that due to the things that have been going on in the world for the last decades it’s easy to predict.
Hidden talents can be read like a movie that rejects what happened in that expedition. NASA taking profit of three genius women, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe). Just because of not being white or men. And giving all the importance and merit to some men who would just go to space and taking the whole credit. These women did all the important jobs, for example, the calculations.
It is also a story of sexism, in which these women, unlike the men that work there, have to demonstrate their qualities to keep their own work, which includes the way they are dressing
This movie simultaneously talks about different topics with a lot of success. On the one hand, we are facing the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union and all the technology that was being developed at NASA to win this mission. In addition, context is inevitable. In the ’60s, there was a lot of segregation in the United States towards African Americans. This makes awesome the director’s work. There were many things to deal with and Theodore Melfi manages to establish a good balance between all of them.
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