A walk to freedom.
Minty (Cynthia Erivo) is a woman who escapes slavery and becomes the hero we know her as today: Harriet Tubman. We follow her as she works with William Still (Leslie Odom Jr.) and the Underground Railroad to continue to free slaves and evade her former master - Gideon (Joe Alwyn) who is hellbent on thwarting her plans.
The world deserves a Harriet Tubman biopic and I'm glad director Kasi Lemmons got to bring us one. They play it very safe, but it's here and that's what matters most. Calling Harriet and what she accomplished extraordinary isn't enough. The film condenses it and makes good use of it's 2 hour run time. It never drags and even though you know the outcome of her story, there are plenty of tense moments throughout.
Cynthia Erivo (who was robbed of an Oscar nomination for Bad Times at the El Royale last year) is a fantastic Harriet. She nails every scene. We see her at her most vulnerable to her most stoic. She also puts her lovely singing voice to good use here as well. The cast supporting her are wonderful as well. I really enjoyed Odom Jr and I'm always happy to see Clarke Peters and Janelle Monae.
The biggest fault in my opinion are how they chose to handle Harriet's "spells" We know she had seizures in real life but here are re-worked into full scale premonitions. They show her the future and help her evade capture several times. She even prays for someone to die, and they do in the next scene. While I don't think Harriet's faith in the lord should be discarded completely, they made it phony with how heavy handed they played it.
Even if it's safe or formulaic, Harriet is still far better than many of the other biopics out there getting similar criticisms. I don't think that should stop you from seeing it.
Now they just need to put her on our U.S currency like they promised.
Memorable Quote: "You will call me Harriet, that's my free name." - Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo)