GTFOH, TROY! AND TAKE THAT DAMN BABY WITH YOU
Let’s talk about Fences. You right. I’m a bit late on the subject, but let me tell you why. First of all, I prefer t.v. to movies because I’m trash. That’s right - TRASH. I live for each and every episode release of Vikings and Mob Wives (R.I.P.), which has been replaced by Empire (a show where I know I’m the only one still watching). I tend to think that movies are left for a class of folks who carry opera glasses or clutch their pearls if you say fuck; people who call it “films” or “masterpieces” rather than “entertainment” or “bullshit I do because I don’t read good no more.”
I get the appeal of going to a movie but it requires the following things to happen:
1. Saving up money because it’s $14 to go see them moving pictures nowadays!
2. Do laundry so I can I wear my ONE t-shirt with no stains in public.
3. Spend time near and around people that I don’t want to hear, see, smell, and prefer didn’t exist
So, I wait. I wait until the movie is released to my iTunes and I pay my $4.99 and lay back on my slightly dog funked up couch and watch the movie in peace with popcorn that actually has flavor because I don’t have to be ashamed about the stick of real butter I put in my bowl, which brings us back to Fences.
Adapted from the original stage play by August Wilson, Fences is a story about a man and his wife raising their family in Pittsburgh in the 1950s. I don’t need to recap the whole film for you - you have the internet. The main character is Troy, the self aggrandizing self absorbed patriarch of the family, played by Denzel Washington (still hot tho). His wife, Rose, is played by one of my favorite actresses, Viola Davis: the Queen of Ugly Cries. To be clear, I don’t mean that she’s ugly when she cries, I mean she don’t give AF about how she looks when she cries. She gives deep hard painful tears with snot running into her mouth realness. Her agony plastered on her face while you try to keep yours in order watching her across that screen. She never disappoints when it comes to this. I love her. She is a goddess.
The film does a great job setting up Troy as a ambitious and charming raconteur who lovingly teases his wife Rose and can’t seem to build a fence. Alright, that fence part isn’t exactly right, but it sort of is. The metaphor of the fence in context of this film can be pounded out for days, which we’ll leave the smarter folk to discuss. Eventually, you realize Troy is a dick; a huge fat pus filled dick. He’s disrespectful to his eldest son, won’t let his younger son pursue a scholarship for football, lies to his best friend, and doesn’t have time to build a fence because he’s spending his free time banging some gal behind Rose’s back and he’s gonna have a baby with that skank.
ALRIGHT! I won’t slut shame this fictional character, but for real, I’d be scratching all the eyes because like I said I’M TRASH. Rose, on the other hand, is better than me. She’s a god-fearing, husband loving, super momma, supportive, and an angelic human being. After the ho-skank dies during childbirth, Troy shows up to the house with the newborn baby girl and asks Rose to raise her and she says yes! WHAT DAFUQ?!
I am so tired of this trope of women having to be so goddamn saintly. SICK. OF. IT. If my cheating, lying ass, “I’m not gonna leave her, Rose” fuck twit of a husband came knocking on my door - a home I spent 18 years building with him - and asked me to take care of his affair baby? You’d be damn skippy that I’d kick that baby over that cheap ass fence like a football. That’s right, I’m saying I’d football kick a baby over a fence and reserve something even worse for Troy.
It breaks my heart to see another story where men get to act a fool and the only people who suffer for it are the women - the girlfriend dies, the wife is broken and trapped, the girl is raised by this self serving asshole. All the men stay protected though - the older son becomes a successful musician, the neighbor buys his wife the fridge she always wanted, and the youngest son has a fantastic military career. Damn! Even Troy wins! Not only does he get off the hook from raising his baby, he dies while Rose is doing it!
I keep imagining what this would have felt like if Rose simply left and Troy had to figure out his own mess - flashes of vignettes of Troy changing diapers, frustrated 2 a.m. feedings, crying in a corner wishing he had Rose back, flashing forward to a night where Troy finds out that Baby Girl has lied to him, stolen money from someone, turns out to be pregnant at 15; the real life fears of raising a child. How would that change Troy? How would that change us to watch it unfold? Would it shift our obsession with boisterous bad boys to know that there is a consequence to their choices and those consequences suck.
Instead, we see Baby Girl a few years later as a little lady. It’s revealed that it’s Troy’s funeral that day. The family and a close friend of Troy’s gather at the house. They make their way to the yard, where the sky opens revealing a golden light and a trumpet sounds, indicating that Troy not only ascended to heaven, but also sprouted wings. Uh - No.
Take my word for it, take your $4.99 and use it towards a Hulu membership and get you some How to Get Away with Murder where Viola Davis really shines.