The Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union remains as one of the most fascinating events in human history, mainly due to the technological aspect of it all. As the title Hidden Figures suggests, there's much more to the whole story than just the technological aspect and I was unaware of it all.

Hidden Figures tells the fascinating true story of a group of female African-American mathematicians, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae), who played a major part in calculating vital data for NASA during the early years of the US space program.
The feel-good factor of Hidden Figures is what makes it such an entertaining film, whether it be down to the performances or the screenplay, or even the music which features some original tracks by Pharrell Williams. The film focuses around the struggle three African-American women had in having their voices heard in a profession where the majority of workers were white males and the feel-good side of the film makes the film falter a bit in trying to get this struggle across. It's still quite hard to believe just how bad things were back then and I have to say the film feels a little guilty of glossing over these issues. With that in mind, the approach taken by Theodore Melfi makes for an infectious film that becomes incredibly hard to resist.

The screenplay from Melfi and Allison Schroeder is one of the film's highlights, surprisingly funny and pacey enough to stop the film from dragging, serving both the inspirational story and the defiant characters incredibly well.

Coming to the performances, Hidden Figures possesses a talented cast who all play their part in telling this story. Taraji P. Henson leads the main trio with a steely performance as Katherine Johnson, the woman with a brilliant calculator-like mind that helped NASA make giant leaps towards their goal. Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae complete the trio and they both deliver wonderful performances in such different ways. Spencer has been getting all the award nominations but I couldn't help but feel Monae deserved them more as she has one of the best scenes of the film. 

It sounds odd to say but Hidden Figures played out like an educational film for me as I had no idea about the behind the scenes of the Space Race. Hidden Figures can stand proud as an important and inspirational film that teaches you must decide who you want to be and never let anybody tell you any different.

Verdict: ★★★★


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