By Dan Delgado
I was surprised to find out that Fruitvale Station runs a total of 85 minutes, which is fairly short for a feature film. I don’t mean that as an insult. It’s surprising because It feels like a full two hour experience.
This is the true story of the last 24 hours in the life of 22 year old Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan). Grant was young man with some definite issues to work through who seemed to be just getting on the right track.
He has a girlfriend he’s thinking about marrying and a young daughter he absolutely loves. He’s also close with his mother and has some strong family ties as we see in his final day.
One of the strengths of this movie is the “warts and all” portrait of Grant. We do not get a saintlike view of him, but rather one of a pretty flawed kid. He’d done some jail time, had some drug issues, and had recently lost his job. Fruitvale Station never tries to hide the ugly things about Grant. Rather, it seems to embrace them. The movie is more concerned with who Grant was as a person, rather than the tragic incident that takes his life.
At times we may not like some of the choices Grant makes, but we are made to empathize with him. Credit writer-director Ryan Coogler, who shows some real skill with his debut film, for making this task achievable. If you haven’t seen Fruitvale Station yet, please get out there and support this movie before it’s gone. it’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year so far.