I’m a little ashamed to admit that up until a couple of days ago, I had not gone to the cinema for a very long time. As in… actual years 🤦 In my defense, I was broke and nothing really appealed to me *cough, too many remakes, cough*.
All that changed when I checked the listings to see if The Hate U Give was still showing. THUG was my favourite book that I read in 2018 and I really wanted to see the film adaptation. Luckily, my local cinema was screening this for the final time so I went along and watched it. And I’m so glad I did!
The Hate U Give is the story of 16-year-old Starr Carter. Starr feels like there are two versions of herself: she lives in a poor neighbourhood and is one of the few black students at a private high school. When her unarmed best friend, Khalil, is killed by a police officer, Starr’s two worlds collide. As the only witness, she knows the truth about what happened. But speaking out could cost Starr her life and put her family in danger.
Overall, I feel that this film does justice to Angie Thomas’ bestseller and vividly brings her book to life. The cast was well-chosen, especially Amandla Stenberg who gives a star performance in the lead role. The film moves along at a great pace and as with the book, the message of THUG is brilliantly conveyed without being preachy. It also manages to be a powerful drama with moving scenes. In fact, I got a little emotional after watching what happened to Khalil.
Whilst this film skillfully deals with a serious subject matter, there are some light touches of humour. I particularly loved the family dynamics of the Carters. Starr’s family are the best! They all look out for her during the tough time that she goes through. It’s refreshing to see a YA book and film which has a close knit family.
Having read the book, I was pleasantly surprised by the twist ending. Without giving too much away, it’s a smart nod to the title, courtesy of Tupac Shakur’s “THUG LIFE” concept which Angie Thomas drew inspiration from.
The only thing I wish we could have seen more of was Starr’s friendship with Maya. There is no mention of Maya’s Asian heritage or the hurtful comment that Hailey had made towards her in the past. Hailey comes across as more of a racist in the book than the film because of this. Also, Starr’s friend DeVante who played a pivotal role in the book, only makes the briefest of appearances.
I was buzzing after seeing the film and would recommend this to people who have read the book and people who haven’t read the book. Plus, watching THUG has made me determined to visit the cinema more often! Surround sound really does make all the difference 😉
My review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Have you seen The Hate U Give on the big screen? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!