Get ready to build a Fence around your house

by Devin Barge, Photo Editor

The movie Fences tells the life of a man who is angry at his past, his present, and his future.

Written by August Wilson,  his play Fences was a Pulitzer Prize winner. Wilson’s play lived on after his death in 2005 as Denzel Washington directed and starred the Tony-winning Broadway play. Washington also directed and starred in the 2016 movie adaptation of the play.

Troy Maxson works as a trash collector in Pittsburgh in the 1950’s. He lives with his wife Rose (Viola Davis),  and son Cory (Jovan Adepo). However, the house that Maxon’s family resides in was paid for by the government after Maxson’s older brother Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson) received a payout after sustaining his head injury during World War II.

As a young boy, Troy struggled with the ability to choose right from wrong. After a grueling childhood, he ran away from home at the age of 14, becoming a thief and served time for murder.

Despite being an older man, Maxson was a baseball prodigy. Following his release from prison, he chased his dreams of reaching the MLB, playing in professional Negro Leagues. His dreams, however, were merely just dreams since he never made it big time.

Denzel Washington’s role as Troy in the movie is powerful in a sense that he can fight and prevail against the Death. In the movie, Troy is building a fence that will surround his home, hence the name. The fence represents Troy’s attempt to protect his family and his home from Death and society’s pressure.

Troy is a troubled man; even though his intentions are well-meaning, his actions are more damaging. For example, his relationship with his son Cory, Maxson is not the nurturing father. In a scene where Cory asks his father, “How come you ain’t never liked me?”

“Liked you? Who the hell say I got to like you?” Troy responds.

“Like you? I go out of here every morning…bust my butt up with them crackers everyday cause I like you? You about the biggest fool I ever saw.” said Troy.

As a child, Troy didn’t have that role of a model father, so he doesn’t know how to exactly express his love in the ways in intends.

Rose Maxson played by the incomparable Viola Davis won a Golden Globe for her category as a Best Supporting Actress. Her performance in the movie is intense as she endures emotional trauma because of the affair that Troy has with another woman. She is faced with the decision of raising the mistress’s child, however, she doesn’t forgive Troy for his mistakes.