That’s what I tweeted as I took my seat in the IMAX Cinemagic theater in Merrimack, N.H., alongside my mother, who begged me to see “Lincoln” after I had dragged her to “Les Miserables” (which was amazing, in case you were wondering) just a few nights earlier. I conceded and accompanied her to the film, and I can honestly say that the hype was not just hype. Though it is technically a historical film, the premise was very relatable and easy to understand.
The movie focuses on Abraham Lincoln (played by Daniel Day-Lewis), and the process by which the 13th Amendment, the Emancipation Proclamation, was passed.
I’m going to give it to you straight. This movie is two and a half hours long. If you’re not down to watch a movie that long, you probably won’t enjoy this. If you’re not into history, you probably won’t enjoy this. However, if you’re willing to take a chance on “Lincoln,” you won’t regret it. In addition to stellar acting on the part of Day-Lewis (you will legitimately think that Abraham Lincoln is playing himself), the costume design and sets are impeccable.
Looking past the superficial – the acting, sets and costumes – there is a genuine lesson to be learned from this movie. The clear theme of the film is equality. The first half of the movie focuses on trying to get the amendment passed in the legislative sense. The last half delves into the emotion of the matter, and follows the lives of several African-American slaves and servants as the issue of freedom comes to pass.
As I watched the movie, I was personally challenged by the theme of equality. It seems unthinkable to me, being born in 1991, that the entire population of America regarded African-Americans as subhuman. In 150 years, America went from not even allowing racial minorities to vote to having a black president. It made me think about the entire people groups (racial, religious and sexual minorities) that are mistreated, abused and victimized every day in America, and what the future holds for them.