Review: Green Book
Here's your guide.
Tony (Viggo Mortensen) is an Italian-American bouncer in New York who needs a new job when the club he works at closes to refurbish. His reputation for handling trouble (usually by knocking someone on their ass) gets him an interview with Dr. Don Shirley, (Mahershala Ali) a musician who is going on a concert tour that will take him through the deep south. Tony has to put his own racism aside, and he grows as a person with Don throughout their journey.
There's a lot to say about Green Book. With a title like that, you would think it would be about the black story, but that book makes a whopping three appearances in the film, and it's told from Tony's perspective. They were definitely going for "feel good" instead of actually tackling the story of how it must feel to travel with a book that tells you places where you can visit and come out alive.
The problem is, aside from Mortensen and Ali, this movie is just....basic. It is funny in parts, don't get me wrong. It got a decent amount of laughs from me. The scene where Tony handles a man not adhering to Shirley's contracted piano had me rolling. But it never once tries to be anything extraordinary, which is a shame considering the two lead actors are phenomenal.
It's a fine watch. Tony's point of view wasn't awful but it felt like it was just checking boxes instead of addressing his racism. Don Shirley's view is almost nonexistent. I wanted to know more about him. Maybe the other Farelly brother can go The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby on this and tell it from his perspective?
Recommended: For Mortensen and Ali's performances only.
Memorable Quote: "Anyone can play Mozart or...Joe Pen..." - Tony (Viggo Mortensen)