Sean Penn won the best actor at the Oscar for his role as Harvey Milk in this movie and I believe it was quite an unanimous vote. He is absolutely brilliant in this flick.
Milk is based on the life of Harvey Milk, a gay activist who became the first openly gay to be elected into the office. He initiated gay rights movement in Castro Street of San Francisco, a growing gay community, and it flickered hopes for homosexuals all across United States of America. He struggled to be accepted by the vast majority but stood firm through it all. Unfortunately at the peak of his popularity, on 27 November 1978 he was shot dead by his colleague, Supervisor Dan White.
As much as this movie is a biopic, I think the main focus is not on Milk but on the cause he was fighting for. He encountered many setbacks, failures and oppositions in his journey but he kept on trying till he succeed. If his life wasn’t cut short, I’m sure he’ll be the World’s most famous gay for being a prick to the conservative community and a hero to those being denied of human rights. Which side I’m on? Honestly, I’m neither an adversary nor advocate of homosexuality. Not that I didn’t care much about it but it’s too complicated to be on either side. So in a way I am objective about the movie Milk. However, the movie shows the injustice suffered by gays during that era and it is enough to make me feel that they deserve their rights as a human just like everybody else. As a Christian, I was even detesting Anita Bryant for using Christianity to act self-righteous. She reminds me of the Nazi. Christianity is not a weapon to strip people of their rights. Milk is admirable in his stand against the vast majority who regarded them as “sick” and I respect him.
Director Gus Van Sant does amazing in handling the controversial issue with sensitivity. It should not offend anyone but rather leaves audience to question the justice system. The movie is filmed in documentary style which creates a sense of reality, reminding us that this isn’t just a movie but also a presentation of current issue. The film techinques is accompanied with great cast, especially Sean Penn with his shaped eyebrow, James Franco as a manly gay and the rest.
I’d say unless you’ve got homophobia, Milk is a recommendable movie.
Mel says: 8.4/10