Review: Too many gaps in ‘Harriet’

A scene from ‘Harriet.’ Photo courtesy

The dramatic biographical movie “Harriet” dives into the life of Harriet Tubman, the heroic African American woman who freed over 300 slaves without any deaths while transporting them. The movie delves into Tubman’s life and the many trips she took through the underground railroad.

The movie was interesting from an adult perspective. However, certain scenes made me feel like I was watching Disney’s rendition of Tubman’s life. The movie suggested Harriet Tubman had the supernatural power of being psychic and that is how she could sense what ways to go when helping slaves escape. 

This bothered me because it seemed as if they couldn’t allow Tubman to just be the amazing navigator who was able to free slaves. They made it seem like she had to have some supernatural power to have been able to free all of those slaves without having one death.

Although the movie had childlike scenes, the plot was still captivating. Viewers were able to better understand Tubman’s reasons for escaping slavery and what motivated her to keep coming back even after she was freed. I expected to learn about different aspects of Tubman’s life and the film allowed viewers to see that.

Although the movie was informative I expected to learn more about Tubman’s personal life. It referenced her getting remarried but it didn’t show who her husband was or how they met or if she had any kids. I also wanted to know more about the lives that she saved but they only gave a snippet into the first set of people’s lives.

Cynthia Erivo’s portrayal of Tubman was remarkable. While watching the movie I could feel and understand the pain and trauma Tubman endured throughout her life. The portrayal of the many people Tubman met in her life was all done exceptionally well.

I would definitely recommend this movie but for viewers to be aware that it isn’t like the typical black history movie. There isn’t as much of Tubman’s history shown in the movie as I was expecting. The movie is interesting with a few funny moments. But if you are looking to be more informed on Tubman’s life, then this movie isn’t the one.

The lack of her story outside of freeing slaves is not shown throughout the movie. Nonetheless, the movie will keep your attention and keep you entertained.