An overdue RESPECT to the queen of soul Aretha Franklin. It’s definitely an OSCAR contender starring Jennifer Hudson.
Being the first biographical movie about the late Aretha Franklin, I had extremely high expectation for Respect, especially after watching the amazing trailer embedded below. However, the movie ended up being underwhelming.
Let’s make something clear. It’s never easy to do a biographical movie. We’ve recently seen a lot of movies trying to portrait the life of a star. From Rocketman to Bohemian Rhapsody and everything in between. Every movie needs a common thread to hold the story together. It’s usually either the drama or the music. Not both.
However, Respect tried to balance both without giving justice to neither. The movie is long, the pacing was off, especially in the first half. Some scenes felt more of a filler than actual scene. It’s not the actors’ fault. They were amazing, mostly.
It’s common knowledge at this point between all the fans that Aretha Franklin had a very rough childhood and worst marriages. Sadly, those stories felt very shallow and sanitized watching the movie. For some reason, we see the results of some traumatic events without explaining what happened.
Now let’s talk music! The only shining musical moments are sadly the making of Respect and Amazing Grace (from her gospel album). Jennifer Hudson is an almost perfect Franklin, and she will most definitely get an Oscar nomination for it. Sadly, the movie script and direction are not helping her. There are very few scenes where the viewer can connect with her, and in those scenes, it looks like she’s trying a bit too hard.
Should you watch it?
If you’re a fan of the queen of soul, Respect is a good movie to watch. However, don’t expect an amazing and touching experience. It’s a bit over produced and sanitized to connect with the audience on a deeper level and appreciate the life and music of Miss Aretha Franklin. Once you watch it, do yourself a favor and watch Genius:Aretha.
Where can I watch it?
Respect is now playing in theaters.