MONDO EXTRAS

Something The Lord Made

by LTG June 7, 2004
Something The Lord Made

And now we see Gabrielle Union getting on a bus. Remember, it's Jim Crow times, so she goes straight to the back, where she quietly sits down next to Viv. But the filmmakers have deceived us -- Viv and Gabrielle aren't strangers at all. She's appropriately excited about his new job, and they allude to his dreams of becoming a doctor. And she reminds him that now that he's working, they can get married. By the way, to prepare for the passage of time, the makeup people have gone to great lengths to make Gabrielle Union look as young as possible in this scene -- she's practically in pigtails. It rather looks like Viv is planning on marrying a fifteen-year-old.

Viv is in the lab, mopping, when his attention is drawn to the shelves of books. He pulls down a couple, and starts reading. After a suitably lengthy period of moody music and arty shots of Mos Def's pretty pretty eyes, Viv's reading is interrupted by Rickman. Rickman doesn't seem too upset, and starts asking Viv about his educational background. More exposition, as we establish that Viv has been saving his money, and that soon he will have enough to start attending Tennessee State so that he can become a doctor. As they chat, Rickman throws out the name of some piece of equipment and then, a few minutes later, asks if Viv can repeat the name. Which, of course, he can. Now, the amazing thing to me was not that a man of Viv's obvious intelligence was able to recall the name -- it was that he was able to understand what the hell Rickman said in the first place. Rickman spends the entire movie mumbling his way through his lines, and it only gets worse as time goes by. What's worse, it appears to be contagious, as Mos Def's line delivery starts to get more and more indistinct as the movie progresses.

Rickman gets into a self-important lather as he tells us, "Vanderbilt may be a podunk institution, but I'm going to put it on the medical map." Heh. Take that, Vanderbilt. Rickman tells us he is studying treatments for traumatic shock, and then he decides to give Viv an impromptu surgical-skills exam, as he has him use forceps to pick up and put way test tubes and corks, with both his left and right hands. I know we're supposed to be awed by this display of skill, but all I can think of is John Carter trying to tie a stitch with one hand.

Sometime later, Viv is alone in the lab when a woman gives him a lab coat, telling him "Dr. Blalock wanted [Viv] to have this." At last, Rickman has a name. Again, moody music and arty shots of Mos Def admiring his new coat in a mirror.

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Something The Lord Made

by LTG June 7, 2004
Something The Lord Made And now we see Gabrielle Union getting on a bus. Remember, it's Jim Crow times, so she goes straight to the back, where she quietly sits down next to Viv. But the filmmakers have deceived us -- Viv and Gabrielle aren't strangers at all. She's appropriately excited about his new job, and they allude to his dreams of becoming a doctor. And she reminds him that now that he's working, they can get married. By the way, to prepare for the passage of time, the makeup people have gone to great lengths to make Gabrielle Union look as young as possible in this scene -- she's practically in pigtails. It rather looks like Viv is planning on marrying a fifteen-year-old. Viv is in the lab, mopping, when his attention is drawn to the shelves of books. He pulls down a couple, and starts reading. After a suitably lengthy period of moody music and arty shots of Mos Def's pretty pretty eyes, Viv's reading is interrupted by Rickman. Rickman doesn't seem too upset, and starts asking Viv about his educational background. More exposition, as we establish that Viv has been saving his money, and that soon he will have enough to start attending Tennessee State so that he can become a doctor. As they chat, Rickman throws out the name of some piece of equipment and then, a few minutes later, asks if Viv can repeat the name. Which, of course, he can. Now, the amazing thing to me was not that a man of Viv's obvious intelligence was able to recall the name -- it was that he was able to understand what the hell Rickman said in the first place. Rickman spends the entire movie mumbling his way through his lines, and it only gets worse as time goes by. What's worse, it appears to be contagious, as Mos Def's line delivery starts to get more and more indistinct as the movie progresses. Rickman gets into a self-important lather as he tells us, "Vanderbilt may be a podunk institution, but I'm going to put it on the medical map." Heh. Take that, Vanderbilt. Rickman tells us he is studying treatments for traumatic shock, and then he decides to give Viv an impromptu surgical-skills exam, as he has him use forceps to pick up and put way test tubes and corks, with both his left and right hands. I know we're supposed to be awed by this display of skill, but all I can think of is John Carter trying to tie a stitch with one hand. Sometime later, Viv is alone in the lab when a woman gives him a lab coat, telling him "Dr. Blalock wanted [Viv] to have this." At last, Rickman has a name. Again, moody music and arty shots of Mos Def admiring his new coat in a mirror.

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