Fences

Denzel Washington (L) and Viola Davis star in “Fences.”

《藩篱》

“Fences,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by August Wilson, was written in 1983 and had its premiere* on Broadway in 1987. Set in a lower-middle-class black section of Pittsburgh in the mid-1950s, the latest movie is directed by its star Denzel Washington.

The central character, Troy Maxson (Washington), works as a trash collector, and when we first see him, finishing his Friday shift* and coming home to greet the weekend the way he always does, by sharing a pint of gin with his co-worker Bono (Stephen Henderson), he seems a happy man. He’s devoted* to Rose (Viola Davis), his wife of 18 years. Troy is so thrifty* he says he can’t afford a TV set, but he has carved out a secure life for his family in their modest brick house. He’s a man shrewd* enough to keep his head down and brave enough to have just asked his supervisor why Pittsburgh has no black sanitation drivers (a question that winds up netting him a promotion* to be the city’s first).

He was once a professional baseball player, a star of the Negro Leagues, but it was Troy’s bitter fate to come along a generation before Jackie Robinson.

Troy doesn’t want anyone to enjoy the success he was denied*, and that includes his teenage son, Cory (Jovan Adepo), who has an interview scheduled with a college football recruiter. It’s a doorway to opportunity, but Troy closes it.

Troy thinks society will never change for the black man, so he turns that belief into a self-fulfilling prophecy*. Of course, it’s also mixed with his jealousy*. He comes on like an honorable fellow, and in certain ways he is, but he’s also unreasonably stubborn*.

As other characters show up, each sheds a ray of light on the real nature of Troy. Lyons (Russell Hornsby), his grown son from a previous relationship, is an easygoing musician who wants more out of life than working as a laborer like his father, and when he asks Troy for US$10, Troy refuses him.

Troy’s brother Gabe (Mykelti Williamson) returned from World War II with a metal plate in his head. Troy took Gabe’s US$3,000 disability payout and bought the house with it, and the energy he pours into justifying* that action is a clear sign of how guilty he feels. (SD-Agencies)(SD-Agencies)(SD-Agencies)Denzel Washington (L) and Viola Davis star in “Fences.”

《藩篱》“Fences,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by August Wilson, was written in 1983 and had its premiere* on Broadway in 1987. Set in a lower-middle-class black section of Pittsburgh in the mid-1950s, the latest movie is directed by its star Denzel Washington.

The central character, Troy Maxson (Washington), works as a trash collector, and when we first see him, finishing his Friday shift* and coming home to greet the weekend the way he always does, by sharing a pint of gin with his co-worker Bono (Stephen Henderson), he seems a happy man. He’s devoted* to Rose (Viola Davis), his wife of 18 years. Troy is so thrifty* he says he can’t afford a TV set, but he has carved out a secure life for his family in their modest brick house. He’s a man shrewd* enough to keep his head down and brave enough to have just asked his supervisor why Pittsburgh has no black sanitation drivers (a question that winds up netting him a promotion* to be the city’s first).

He was once a professional baseball player, a star of the Negro Leagues, but it was Troy’s bitter fate to come along a generation before Jackie Robinson.

Troy doesn’t want anyone to enjoy the success he was denied*, and that includes his teenage son, Cory (Jovan Adepo), who has an interview scheduled with a college football recruiter. It’s a doorway to opportunity, but Troy closes it.

Troy thinks society will never change for the black man, so he turns that belief into a self-fulfilling prophecy*. Of course, it’s also mixed with his jealousy*. He comes on like an honorable fellow, and in certain ways he is, but he’s also unreasonably stubborn*.

As other characters show up, each sheds a ray of light on the real nature of Troy. Lyons (Russell Hornsby), his grown son from a previous relationship, is an easygoing musician who wants more out of life than working as a laborer like his father, and when he asks Troy for US$10, Troy refuses him.

Troy’s brother Gabe (Mykelti Williamson) returned from World War II with a metal plate in his head. Troy took Gabe’s US$3,000 disability payout and bought the house with it, and the energy he pours into justifying* that action is a clear sign of how guilty he feels. (SD-Agencies)


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