A sanitary worker whose skin colour had more to do with why he couldn’t make the cut as a Baseball pro shows how deep wounded scars could run when he dismisses his son’s pursuit of the sport. Reasons for his patriarchal outlook as the sole protector of the family slowly get revealed and at a point when it outgrows to consume family love, he loses control of himself and the family is at the brink of disintegration
Running Time:
139 min
PG-13 (MPAA)
Release date:
25 December 2016
Directed by:
Denzel Washington
Produced by:
Denzel Washington
Scott Rudin
Todd Black
Written by:
August Wilson
Denzel Washington
Viola Davis
Stephen Henderson
Christopher Mele
Russell Hornsby
Saniyya Sidney
Music by:
Marcelo Zarvos
Shot by:
Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Editing by:
Hughes Winborne
Distributed by:
Paramount Pictures

What’s Hot

  • Denzel Washington carries some serious burden as the film’s director and as its lead player Troy Maxson but the heaviness doesn’t show on screen in both the way he has adapted August Wilson’s 1983 Pulitzer prize winning play & the way he plays its lead Troy displaying all the virtuoso and pride the character aligns with the fragility and guilt deep hidden deep inside it.
  • Viola Davis comes up with a knock-out performance as the ever-reliable Rose, the engine that keeps the Troy household chugging along. She goes about her business playing second-fiddle to Denzel till her moment in the film comes and when it comes, she ensures we feel and empathise with her life and sacrifices buried forever under Troy’s shadow.
  • For the most part, the film is set in the ‘Troy home’ but with some fine angles and frames Christensen’s cinematography removes the effect a staged play could have on its adaptation. Props such as the house itself, the baseball tied to a rope & the gin Troy shares with his friend have stories to tell on their own.
  • The supporting cast is able, skillful & earnest in their expressions: Lyons and Cory – the boys in the family, Bono – the family friend for years. But Mykelti Williamson who plays the disabled brother Gabe shines a little more than others with his chasing of the imaginary hell hounds.
  • Dialogues are the film’s mainstay. The outpour of Rose, the philosophical wisdom Bono shares (especially on reasoning out the other fascinating reason people build fences for) stand out.

What’s Not

  • Judgmental as it may sound, The tale’s protagonist becomes its antagonist all of a sudden and the transition leads to a fall in intensity as we head to the climax.




Verdict Stamp

In depicting the impact a man’s past and its crushing death could have on him, his outlook towards life & how thrusting it upon his family could become detrimental despite the respect and control he commands, Fences is a lesson on fragility for every household.