Society’s lines are crossed, and change is established in the universal film The Help. This is the 1960s story behind three remarkable women who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks the social norms and puts them all at risk. The film is inspired by Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel from 2009. The message roots deeper than outlining the typical racism that occurred in the South; it further explains how the separation between the two races wasn’t just a crime, but a grand illusion.
Newcomer Director/Executive Producer Tate Taylor, engulfed in doubt prior to the film’s release, has made his mark with the success of film’s feedback. Stockett, a self-proclaimed rule-breaker, defied tradition when she handed her debut novel over to Taylor for his directing debut. Taylor had previously acted in minor roles in movies like Planet of the Ape and Winter’s Bone. Stockett ignored the comments of her childhood friend having no experience with directing, silencing the cynical voices with the statement, “I knew Taylor would get the story right.”
What two individuals could articulate the story better than Taylor and Stockett, who grew up with black maids? They encountered the connection that is being portrayed throughout the movie. The fact that the maids are described as simply “The Help” by the white culture unravels an unsettling truth of the maid’s existent value. The young character Skeeter, an aspiring writer, decides to write about these women based on her positive experience with the black woman who raised her. The struggle between racial tension at its height in the 1960s and the bigger picture of change stood in the hands of rivals. The character Skeeter, played by Emma Stone, serves as the ribbon that keeps the story together. Her dynamic demeanor hangs in between the racial tension and her own self-fulfillment for change. Through Skeeter, one may learn that every voice counts and one whisper can produce a timeless story stemmed from a time of great change.