Akeelah and the Bee

Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

Peter Bradshaw
Friday August 18, 2006
The Guardian

How many spelling bee films do we need? In the wake of the superior documentary Spellbound - about the annual televised contest in the US where kids spell absurdly difficult words live on stage - we seem to be getting more and more of them. There's even a spelling bee scene in the teen comedy John Tucker Must Die. Here's another in the genre: a fantastically annoying and incurious celebration of America's biggest geek-sports event, featuring the regulation vulnerable little kid getting a shot at the nationals. Keke Palmer plays Akeelah, an 11-year-old African-American girl who has an orthographical route out of the ghetto. She is coached by a cranky-yet-lovable prof, played by Laurence Fishburne, who demonstrates his braininess and a secret emotional hurt by speaking deeply ... and ... slowly ... and ... quietly. Every trace of intelligence and humour has been drained out of this film, as if by some industrial process, and there is a monumental dishonesty in the way in which the real-world problem of gang culture is deemed to have been tidied away when the chief gangbanger becomes one of little Akeelah's biggest cheerleaders.

The most extraordinary thing is how unthinkingly and smugly racist the movie is about the Korean boy Akeelah is up against. The Korean kid's dad is shown berating him in private about coming so close to being defeated at Scrabble by Akeelah: "If you can barely beat a little black girl ..." Ouch. Writer-director Doug Atchison apparently thinks it's all right to bring in racism by making the Asians the racists, and acceptable also to have one of Akeelah's fans jeeringly confuse Koreans with Chinese. Give it an m, i, s, s.

apparently- widocznie, wyraźnie
berate- strofować; zwymyślać
coach- trenować, uczyć, szkolić
cranky- dziwaczny, pomylony; wybuchowy
deem- uważać, sądzić
drain out- odwadniać; odsączać, osuszać
geek- kujon, mól książkowy
genre- gatunek
in the wake of- w ślad za
incurious- obojętny, nieciekawy
jeeringly- szyderczo
regulation- przepis, nakaz; kierowanie, kontrolowane
smugly- radośnie, z zadowoleniem, z samozachwytem
spelling bee- konkurs polegający na tworzeniu wyrazów, gra słowna
superior- lepszy, ważniejszy
vulnerable- podatny, wrażliwy, bezbronny


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