I wanted to see 12 Years a Slave ever since it came out, and finally I have managed to see it. And boy it was worth any length of weight. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a freeman, Solomon Northup, who is kidnapped and forced into slavery for 12 years, and who went on to write his story, 12 Years a Slave. At first he is owned by William Ford (Cumberbatch), then Edwin Epps (Fassbender).
The film is incredible, it’s hugely moving and emotional, in large part to the central performance by Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o as Northup’s fellow slave and Epps’ favourite Patsey. On top of these two Michael Fassbender is brilliant as the horrible slave owner Epps who believes he is completely justified in his mistreatment of people just because they are his slaves. And thats where the heart of the story is. Ejiofor’s is so clearly the best performance of the year and worthy of the many awards he’ll inevitably win.
The director Steve McQueen, noted for his telling of powerful and moving films such as Hunger and Shame, as well as his work with Fassbender, has managed to outdo his previous work with 12 Years, and hopefully will now be recognised by more people as one of the best up and coming directors around.
Overall 12 Years a Slave is easily one of the early forerunners for my favourite film of 2014, and is a much watch for everyone, although bring a shoulder to cry on, because even the most heartless of people will surely be moved by 12 Years.