Pulse Movie Review "Fences" is a story of life, strength

"Fences" is a story of life itself, imperfections are many but duty and respect trumps whatever the flaws are.

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"Fences" poster play

"Fences" poster

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Fences is an adaptation of August Wilson’s play in which Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington), a fifty something garbage collector, struggles with a frail relationship with son Cory Maxson played by Jovan Adepo, of Nigerian descent, and wife, Rose (Viola Davis).

The movie is centred around the honest living Troy Maxson. He does right by his wife and is a hard worker. His only flaw early on in the movie is his relationship with his son. Cory Maxson has a bright football career ahead of him but Troy doesn’t want his son down that path.

With a failed baseball career that still haunts him, he forces his son to pick up a decent job and stop dreaming about sports. He also has a bad relationship with his older son from another woman when he used to be a robber. Troy has a disdain for the arts and music so it seems.


Despite his paternal flaw, Denzel’s character is most loveable until he does his wife of 18 years wrong. From here on, Troy Maxson becomes the shadow of the man we first saw at the beginning- one who fought for equality in his workplace. Even with Troy’s shortcoming, his character manages to wrangle sympathy.

In contrast, his wife, played by the brilliant Viola Davis grows stronger irrespective of the far from ideal conditions at home.

Fences is a story of life itself, imperfections are many but duty and respect trumps whatever the flaws are. This theme of the story is highlighted brilliantly when Troy’s brother Gabe (Mykelti Williamson) blew the trumpet to allow archangel Gabriel open up the gates of Heaven for his brother. It is also a movie about strength which is needed when life takes a bad turn.

Viola Davis and Denzel Washington in "Fences" play

Viola Davis and Denzel Washington in "Fences"


Denzel Washington going on and on about fighting death at the beginning of the film might be a turn off to a few people who are not used to the nuances of stage plays but this mini-flaw helps illustrate Denzel Washington’s vibrant character.

The veteran Hollywood man and Viola Davis are the perfect tag team in this movie. Their performances are stellar and it’s not much of a surprise that they are up for Oscars this year.

Fences is a honest and stark portrayal of life. There will be more downs than ups but we move on knowing that tomorrow will be a brighter day.

Rating- 4 out of 5

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