Movie Review: Loving, 1967
It is important to make films that not only entertain the audience but also educate, open their mind and show a way of improvement in the social life context. Loving introduces an interracial couple, whose challenge on anti-miscegenation arrest for their marriage faces a legal battle that ends up in a Supreme Court. Their life is presented as a landmark fight for their right of forming a union.
Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) and his childhood friend Mildred (Ruth Negga) navigate a new chapter in their relationship: marriage and pregnancy. The film tells an account of Loving versus Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court case that overturned state bans on multicultural mergers. It is beyond comprehension that alliance between a black woman and a white man and vice versa violates the law. The feature focuses on the couple at the center of the case depicting the long-term impact of their protracted confrontation with the authorities, celebrating their love story and unwavering resolve.
The film opens with the scene where Richard and Mildred are resting on a porch. His girlfriend accompanies him, despite it being a period of segregation, to a drag race moderation event. All black and white people attend the occasion. In a day, Richard resumes his occupation as a construction worker. Later, he takes Mildred in a field a few miles away from his home. At this juncture, he tells his girlfriend about the acre of land he bought and gets an opportunity to ask her for a hand in marriage; the couple decides to marry later, after an incredible love experience. They move to Washington, D.C. to legitimatize their union as a husband and a wife. Once finished, they return to their small town where they continue their lives, but shortly after the ceremony, the local sheriff (Marton Csokas) invades their house, arrests them, and the two are then sentenced and put in prison. The anti-miscegenation laws prohibit interracial marriages; therefore, them being together like this is illicit. Eventually, the ensuing legal struggle for their right upends their routine to a level that the family decides to sue the State of Virginia to the Supreme Court for segregation. Their hope towards the court’s response is to change their lives and that of other people afterward.
Loving v. Virginia case is an important political milestone that facilitates the end of segregation in America. The film portrays Loving as a quiet and settled man. On the other hand, Mildred is an intelligent, determined and persistent woman who presumably abides by the law, but goes against it when it comes to being with the man of her choice. Generally, the perfect match and complete understanding empower them to get married regardless of the negative consequences that would befall them later in their course of actions. However, the story continues with the same perspective angle of love between the couple. The slow-moving pace portrays the family’s life emotions and affection as a strong scene that the audience would like to see in this manner to capture their bond better.
Richard and Mildred struggle to cope up with the city life, but it does not suit them at all as they later plan to move back to the field. They prefer living with adequate space than spending their time in concrete buildings. When the two return to their village, the police get the information and arrest them for the second time. Boldness, commitment, and pervasiveness of their relationship motivate the American Civil Liberties Union to take over the case. The union promises to provide a lawyer for the couple. The judge of the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled against them, but in the end, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the state’s ban as depriving people of one of the basic liberties.
Edgerton emerges as astonishing by portraying a man who is torn by injustices in his own country but does not give up on the woman he loves. On the other hand, Negga represents a woman disgraced by her skin color, yet she does not leave her chosen one. The film is an informative pictorial illustration of the American struggle for the human rights, race, and the revolution.
In conclusion, Loving is one of those features that capture the mind of the audience, entertain and educate them at the same time. The scenes unearth acts of human rights violation in a country trying to fight against racism, but despite all the challenges the couple experiences, be it because of the police or the state, they still love each other. The publicity of their story molds their lives and positively influences the state to abolish the anti-miscegenation law. Additionally, even with the widespread racism in Virginia, nothing could break the bond between Richard and Mildred and separate them. Overcoming the segregation norms is not only their personal life achievement, but also an incredible revolution of the United States. The film offers key lessons to empower the audiences to combat injustices. Notably, the depicted material shows that although prejudice is ever present and persistent, love can change the course of history.