Source: Jennifer Hudson’s Instagram account
Movie fans have not seen much of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson lately, but there is reason to celebrate as her film Monster is set to stream on Netflix starting on May 7. The drama film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival three years ago and finally landed with Netflix after going through negotiations with other streaming platforms.
Monster is an adaptation of the 1999 novel written by Walter Dean Myers. The story revolves around the character of 17-year-old African-American boy Steve Harmon, whose life turns upside down overnight when he gets accused of murder. The character struggles to make sense of things, including his parents. Jennifer Hudson plays Steve’s mother alongside Jeffrey Wright, who plays the father.
The family drama sees Steve’s life spiral downwards as the honor student from an elite high school is arrested and faces charges for a fatal robbery incident. A complicated and heart-wrenching legal battle ensues, and the characters are caught in a web of uncertainty, confusion, and fear as Steve faces the worst possible scenario – spending a lifetime behind bars.
The film’s trailer gives excited fans a glimpse of Steve’s warm and likable character, someone who attempts to thrive in the arts through his photography. As he comes of age, he goes through experiences that normal boys his age go through – falling in love with a girl, attempting to belong, and finding his inner strength to combat life’s challenges.
Monster was made possible through the collective effort of executive producers John Legend, Nasir “Nas” Jones, Jeffrey Wright, and director Anthony Mandler. Its release on Netflix comes at a time when all of the world has been introduced to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that hopes to address systemic racism in the United States. It highlights realities on how many African-Americans are being targeted and marginalized because of the color of their skin. The movement was amplified by a series of events that resulted in the senseless deaths of innocent African-Americans at the hands of authorities.
The film depicts this hard reality that many African-Americans face today in the United States and other parts of the world. It hopes to promote the need to uphold communities that are fair and just so that the senseless killings never happen again and young African-Americans are given a chance to establish themselves as peace-loving and productive citizens.
Jennifer Hudson revealed in an interview with ET that she has never felt closer to any role before than playing Steve’s mother in the movie. As a mother to her 11-year-old son David, she fully empathizes with the desperation and struggles of her character.
“When you are family like the Harmons, and you have a child that could not be walking a better path, and you still can’t protect them, and they still end up in those types of scenarios and situations. It leaves a parent like, ‘Oh my god, what can you do?'” Hudson shares. “What do you do when you’ve already done what you’re supposed to as a parent, and your child has done what they’re supposed to as a child? It’s scary.”
American actor Kelvin Harrison Jr. plays the role of Steve Harmon in the film. He has appeared in other films, including 12 Years a Slave and Ender’s Game.