Review: Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures  is based on African-American women hidden in the shadows in 1960s NASA, helping during the Space Race. They calculate the math for a safe launch and landing.  The movie focuses on Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson. Each played different key roles in the NASA program; Jackson works on the engineer program, Vaughn in IBM and Johnson in the Space Program.

Photo by Deja Skipper

Before seeing this film, I had no knowledge of what happened behind closed doors during the Space Race. After seeing the poster for the movie, I thought I would give the flick a chance.

I’m glad I did.  

I was taken back in time to when NASA was working quickly, trying to beat Russia in launching an astronaut into space. Throughout the movie, it is clear that math is constantly changing everyday, and everyone has to keep up. It is also clear that in every department, only the smartest are equipped to work at the site.  The movie did an excellent job at showing how the Space Program works with its depictions of the actual space ship, the room where workers quickly calculate data and the workings of the IBM technology utilized. It felt and looked like we were seeing what NASA was like during this crucial event.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

But the Space Race was not the only event shown in the movie. The film made sure to also touch upon the Civil Rights Movement. Viewers were taken into the daily work and home lives of three African-American women. The hostility is evident, even more so between Katherine and her colleagues when she is moved to work at the Space Program. The tension builds until it comes to a peak when Taraji P. Henson gives an outstanding performance conveying the frustration and pain Katherine feels when her colleagues treat her unfairly.

The rest of the actors, such as Jim Parson, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Glen Powell, all played their respective roles quite well. It is clear they did their research.

The setting and tone of the movie felt as if it was the 1960s, and I commend the director for it. The song choices seemed to fit each scene in which they were used.

This movie is a must-see and deserved the awards it received.

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