Thursday, August 20, 2009


Sean Penn, James Franco, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsh, Diego Luna

"His life changed history. His courage changed lives."

Sean Penn shines in his role as Harvey Milk in this biopic about the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in the US. The film traces the last few years in the life of Harvey Milk. His personal upheavals as well as his struggles in championing the gay rights movement. The film is set in the tumultuous 70s in San Francisco, the city where the gay rights movement was born.

The film uses flashbacks as it shows important snippets of his short life. Footage of actual TV interviews of personalities who made headlines during those volatile times are also featured. The end credits show pictures of the real persons with a short description about their current life.

Sean Penn is ably supported by a good cast of actors who all convincingly portray real people. James Brolin as fellow supervisor Dan White, Milk's main nemesis in the political arena. Emile Hirsch as Cleve Jones, an impassioned fighter for gay rights. Diego Luna as Jack Lira, the troubled partner. But I was impressed by James Franco's brilliant performance as Scott Smith. The loyal lover of Milk who stood by him through thick and thin. A faithful supporter till the end.

A well developed film about an inspirational character who usually begins his fiery speeches with "Hello, I'm Harvey Milk and I am here to recruit you" and his passionate battle to champion gay rights.

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