Set in the 1960s, Tony (Viggo Mortensen) works a bouncer for a local club. When the club closes its doors for a couple of months due to the club requiring renovations, Tony seeks other employment until he can return to work. He soon accepts a job as a driver for Dr Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a pianist who will be going on tour, visiting many venues and locations.
As the two travel, they have many conversations, encountering many situations and issues along the way. They also soon find out they can help one other personally as well as professionally. This film is based on the true story of an unlikely friendship.
Needless to say, when our two leading actors are on screen, the film is incredibly alive and enjoyable. The chemistry these two have on display is believable, and their relationship feels completely real, giving the audience the feeling that you too are on this road trip. At selected moments, the two leads are also really humorous to watch in the way they interact with each other and question each other’s logic.
The actors also deliver performances that are different to their previous work. For example, Viggo Mortensen put on weight for this role and offers a great Italian- American accent. It’s essential elements like these that make you forget he was ever a King protecting Hobbits with a ring.
Without giving too much of the plot away, the story is basic and focuses mostly on the friendship and chemistry of our leads. Despite this, the film can be rather dramatic to watch at critical moments. As the two go from town to town, it’s unfortunate to witness how people react to both Tony and Dr Don, in particular when it comes to the topic of racism. Needless the say the film touches on this topic rather positively as by the end of the film there is a great message for all which I loved.
With incredible acting done by both performers, the film’s audio and visual also can’t be faulted. I enjoyed the film’s soundtrack (yes, lots of jazz). I noticed all the shots and camera movements were clear and smooth. Other elements such as set design were also really enjoyable to see on the big screen. My biggest surprise was to discover that Green Book was directed by Peter Farrelly who is best known for directing crude and rude films such as Dumb and Dumber, Hall Pass, Three Stooges and Shallow Hal etc. This alone completely surprised me given the director’s experience. It’s an entirely massive change in film style, unlike anything I have seen.
Overall, Green Book is a fantastic film, and I enjoyed this film more than I expected I would. With excellent acting, audiovisual, and a positive message to share, I have spent a long time trying to figure out what I didn’t like about the film, and my answer is. I have nothing—no complaints, not one. Green Book is an unforgettable masterpiece, and merely a must-see.
Thank you for visiting! Walkden Entertainment is also available on:
Review Written by Peter Walkden