Milk (2008) Review

My name is Harvey Milk and I am here to recruit you!

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay politician to be elected in the United States, in the state of California. The film shows Milk’s life from when he first moved to San Fransisco with Scott to the many different elections he fought to win. It took a lot of time for this to happen, but eventually he gets elected.


The riots which featured throughout were incredible, mainly because it helped to show the passion from all of the people when they realised that actually they could have the same rights as everyone else (which they always should have) but they would have to fight for it, and fight they did. Lead by Harvey Milk.

Harvey Milk, always seemed to know that he would someday be assassinated and he was correct. He was assassinated by Dan White (Josh Brolin). In the film, I do not know if this was actually true but it was implied that Dan White was a closeted homosexual.

I thought the ending was heartbreaking when Scott went to the memorial for Harvey and they thought know one else had bothered to pay respects after all Harvey had done for the gay community. Cut to them walking outside and seeing all the hundreds and thousands of candles all lit in remembrance. Certainly very powerful to highlight that people often do not realise the impact that they have on others while they are still alive something that Milk did not really know himself.

I did not know any of this story before I saw the film, all I knew was that Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected in an American State. I found that the way the film told the story was fantastic, with my lack of knowledge on it all. I did however read a bit more about it when I returned home from the cinema. Something I really enjoy doing when a film is a biography and based on actual events is then finding out more facts surrounding it, not necessarily to take anything away from the film but to fill in some of the gaps as let’s face it with a running time of just over two hours you cannot really fit someone’s life history into that amount of time, well not when they push boundaries and achieve so much.

I found the whole cast seemed to really bond well together and I thought they should have won best cast ensemblance at the SAG Awards.Sean Penn pulls out all the stops again to show how much of a gifted and talented actor that he is in his portrayal of Harvey Milk. Something which earned him an Oscar for his efforts. With the importance of the messages within the film and his powerful performance you can easily understand why he was rewarded by the Academy.

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