“It’s THUGLIFE. The Hate U Give Little Infants… Fs Everybody.” In the opening scenes, Starr Carter introduces her life to the audience, and explains that she was only nine years old her dad gave her siblings and her “the talk.” Unlike “the talk” that most kids are familiar with, Starr’s dad shows them what to do during a confrontation with the police. In these first few scenes, the audience gets a taste of what it means to be black in America.
As we follow 16-year-old Starr through high school, we become acquainted with both sides of the main character. Starr from Garden Heights, a low-income black neighborhood, and Starr who attends the predominantly white private school Williamson Prep. At school, Starr is well-mannered, and never curses or uses slang, even though all the other kids do. After all, she does not want to be known as the “ghetto girl.” In Garden Heights, Starr does not fit in with her neighborhood friends, who wear flashier clothing and enjoy underage drinking. They make fun of Starr for going to Williamson.
One night, at a party in Garden Heights, an ostracized Starr was driven home by her childhood friend Khalil. However, on the way there, the two got pulled over by the police. Starr remembered the advice her dad had given her during “the talk” and told Khalil to put his hands in front of him and do as the officer said. Khalil suddenly got shot by the white police officer, who thought he had reached for a gun when it was just a hairbrush. Since then, Starr struggles to find her voice among those who tell her to keep quiet about the shooting, and those who tell her to fight for what’s right and put her life in danger.
Actress Amandla Stenberg, known for her role as Rue in ‘Hunger Games,’ plays Starr Carter in “The Hate U Give.”is originally based off of the book ‘The Hate You Give,’ by Angie Thomas. Before the movie was released, there was controversy over Stenberg playing the role of Starr. This controversy stemmed from the fact that, in the book, Starr was a dark-skinned black girl, and Stenberg does not match that physical image. For this reason, many were wary of the movie at first, but the plot and execution of the roles surpassed the flaws.
Actor KJ Apa (most known for his role as Archie Andrews in ‘Riverdale’) was praised for his role as Chris, Starr’s white boyfriend who tried his best to help her as she gained the courage to stand up for her own beliefs — even if it meant letting go of her friend Hailey (Sabrina Carpenter), who supported racial stereotypes. Overall, the actors and actresses did a fantastic job performing their roles, especially Russell Hornsby, who took the role of Starr’s dad in the movie. Through his humorous tone and empowering words, Hornsby not only inspired Starr and her brother, Seven, but also the audience.
“I really hope the movie is better than the book, because the book has such a great concept but was rushed and lacked emotion, and I am anticipating that Starr’s character portrays who she truly is,” said Sumaiya Rahman ’19, who read the book. The movie did a remarkable job of emphasizing the Black Lives Matter Movement is an important movement that should be brought to the attention of more people, and social media has been one way through which the movement has gained attention among teenagers. Many teenagers can identify with Starr Carter or Khalil, and the movie appealed to the demographic by using young actors and actresses and trending music. A wide range of music was used in the movie, with contributions from artists like Travis Scott, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar and more. The various types of music represent what many teenagers enjoy listening to, and this made the movie more enjoyable and relatable. The song selection also helped some people in the audience have a stronger connection to the characters in the movie. The movie was long (two hours and twelve minutes), but each scene was so suspenseful that time flew as the audience held their breaths in anticipation.
“I really hope the movie is better than the book, because the book has such a great concept but was rushed and lacked emotion, and I am anticipating that Starr’s character portrays who she truly is,” – Sumaiya Rahman ’19
“I really hope the movie is better than the book, because the book has such a great concept but was rushed and lacked emotion, and I am anticipating that Starr’s character portrays who she truly is,” said Sumaiya Rahman ’19, who read the book. Another student, Tasnia Chowdhury ’19, describes the movie as “captivating and empowering,” admitting that she held her breath in some scenes and let out a few tears in others. This movie definitely left a lasting impact on me, and I definitely recommend it to people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. Let’s learn to use our strongest weapons- our voices.