It was 9:35 p.m. on Saturday, July 20, 2013. We had arrived to the movie theatre early after picking up some snacks for the movie (sorry, but I don’t like overpriced food of any kind). On one of our usual movie dates, the wife and I agreed to see Fruitvale Station. With my basic knowledge of the Oscar Grant case, I wanted to see what this movie would do to enlighten me. Thus, this movie was to serve as a visual trek inside the world of a man that tragically, and unnecessarily, lost his life.
After seeing the movie, I left slightly unnerved. If this movie was as accurate as depicted, then this situation was nothing short of a travesty. However, the movie itself was an impressive piece of work. Still, I couldn’t help but be shaken by how things happened.
There were a few things that I came away with after watching this movie:
1.) They wanted the movie to seem as if you were “there the entire time”
This usually happens with different techniques. In recent times, some movies act as if there is someone taping the entire thing on a “home video”. This movie was different. They wanted to make it much more realistic by taking away any soundtrack. The only music to be heard was either while Oscar was riding around or when they were partying on the train. This adds to the effect of the situations being more “realistic”.
2.) Oscar Grant screwed up plenty of times
Oscar made plenty of mistakes from what was shown in the movie. He was on a late streak for his job. He was in and out of jail. He was in some really deep street action. So, it was easy to see that he wasn’t a saint.
3.) Yet, he wanted more out of life
The street life was losing its luster. It wasn’t doing much for him anyway. Plus, how could he live such a life and actually be the person he wanted to be? How was he going to make it if he kept one foot in the streets and one foot in the prison system? He had some decisions to make.
4.) Oscar was a caring person
Oscar had the ability to do things for people. Whether it was making sure people were okay, being considerate to animals (see the movie), or looking out for his family, he was down to do it. Even when it came down to simple things like helping strangers and celebrating his mother’s birthday, he was always down for those besides him. Quite compelling, indeed.
5.) His biggest passion was being a father
Throughout to movie, the viewer should notice that Oscar enjoyed every moment he had with his daughter Tatiana. Most of the time, Oscar was a serious person. Yet, it was always Tatiana that brought out his joy and inner kid. Within the visuals, you get the share the special moments that he shared with her. So much that it makes Oscar’s death that much more heartbreaking.
6.) He was a family man
His friends were like gold. His mom was one of his biggest joys (even when he didn’t always treat her right). As a man, you are taught to take care of family first. That was always his thing: taking care of his family.
7.) He wanted to make things right for Sophina
Oscar recognized that he had made too many mistakes in his relationship. As a man, he gained that understanding through the turmoil of his experiences. Yet, he wanted to change. He even took a drastic measure or two just to make a step toward getting himself together. Besides being a father, Sophina was one of the reasons for his change.
8.) His past was hard to escape
The past dealing he had in the streets seemed to always be a problem for Oscar. It crept into his life even when he didn’t invite it. This was another inspiration for his desire to change. At some point, Oscar recognized that the choices he made were making his life more complex.
9.) His death was nothing slight of gut wrenching
I’m not sure how it was for those that witnessed it firsthand. However, I do understand how the movie depicted it. Oscar was laid on the ground with handcuffs on. The next thing you know, he was shot. All he could do was lay there in shock while everyone else reacted in horror.
10.) People need to support this film
If you haven’t seen the film, then I suggest that you do that. Due to its popularity, it has increased in the amount of theatres showing the film. Thus, I encourage anybody that wants a better understanding of who Oscar Grant was before he was tragically killed to support Fruitvale Station. I can’t promise you that you will feel better after watching it. But I can guarantee that you will react if you value your own humanity.
‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!