Wow. That is all that I could utter for about twenty minutes after leaving the theater when I saw Precious. The story is about a young, abused African-American girl and her struggle to rise above the uncontrollable circumstances that surround her life. I haven’t had the chance to read Sapphire’s novel, Push, so I cannot give any comparison to the book. But as for the film, Lee Daniels (director) created a work that felt as real as if you were a fly on the wall in Harlem witnessing these unbelievably events as they unfolded.
This film shocked and stunned the audience with the raw, harsh scenes of abuse by both her mother and father. Precious (Gabourey Sidibe) opened our eyes to the reality of the situations, which she narrated in a monotone, disconnected manner that mirrored her attitude toward life. After her second pregnancy was discovered the school authorities transferred her to an alternative program to obtain her GED. Precious was placed in a class taught by Ms. Rain (Paula Patton) who saw potential in all of her students. Ms. Rain, as well as the social worker, Mrs. Weiss (Mariah Carey) both took an interest in this girl whom had become invisible to others. They both invested time, emotional and physical energy to help her lift herself out of the mire that she was born.
The newcomer Sidibe was masterful in her portrayal of Precious. Creating a girl who built a fortress of hard, apathetic emotions out of necessity to protect her. Also, she funneled the monsoon of anger and terror into her scenes, displaying the break down of a sixteen year-old girl who suffocating under the weight of circumstances that were completely out of her control. However, Mo’Nique, who played Mary the abusive mother, was the force that made this movie. She was compassionless and irrational in hatred toward her child. Without her unbridled performance the film wouldn’t have been as real. As for the other actors, which included Patton, Carey, Lenny Kravitz, and Sherri Shepherd, they created an ensemble that complimented the rare beauty of Precious. They all fed off her unrelenting spirit and never let her give into the horrors of her life.
Precious shows us that there are people in the world that are monsters to the innocent, but there are also other people that value humanity above all else. Those people are willing to struggle to help the innocent find a way to escape the grip of the monsters in their lives. This film gave me a glimpse into a world that seems light years away from my reality. However, it is world that needs to be brought into the light in order to protect the pure. With very raw, vulgar language and vivid flashbacks I warn all the faint of heart to view this film with caution and a box of tissues. The tissues recommendation is for everyone!