★★★★★ – “Both serious and fun, Theodore Melfi’s feel-good drama is a blast.”

Hidden Figures is written & directed by Theodore Melfi and stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons and Mahershala Ali.

The story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.

In Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures, three heroic women who were a vital part of NASAs early years, are strongly portrayed by three wonderful actresses; Tarija P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe, thankfully bringing the remarkable true story into the limelight.

A smart, refreshing script is blissfully aided by cinematographer Mandy Walker’s “Kodachrome” direction, capturing each scene with two distinct tones; warm and cold. Though a simple story, it’s told with care and although slightly dramatised, it’s hugely investing. 

Henson, Spencer and Monáe are all perfect performers, becoming very likeable mere minutes into the picture. Henson takes the lead, however, with a showcase of pure strength and drive.

The 1950s/60s are always interesting to see brought to the big screen, especially in the costume and production design. Both departments have delivered in every sense, alongside the art director and set decorator to achieve the utmost detail, in doing so, creating a working environment the actors can connect with and the audience can adhere to.

If I had to say anything I disliked about Hidden Figures, it would be the decision to cast Dunst and Parsons. The two felt inapposite and while both gave satisfying performances, I never once clicked with their characters. Costner executed his character with skill and ease, yet the two aforementioned lacked any unique traits in their rather substantial roles. 

The original soundtrack by Pharrell Williams is overflowing with energy, featuring tracks written specifically for the picture, including feel-good cues composed by Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch. Each track feels largely appropriate not only for the imagery but for the time period, also.

There’s a lot to like in Hidden Figures, and for all of the right reasons it ticks all of the right boxes. 

Verdict; Vibrant characters, stylish writing and a funky soundtrack ignite a flourishing work of brilliance in Theodore Melfi’s historical drama.

Hidden Figures – ★★★★★ (9/10)

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