Will Smith: A Boon or a Bane for His Upcoming Oscar-Worthy Movie, ‘Emancipation’?

Will Smith: A Boon or a Bane for His Upcoming Oscar-Worthy Movie, ‘Emancipation’?

“To Sethe, the future was a matter of keeping the past at bay,” Toni Morrison would say about the Chapple slaves and their condition post the liberation period. Over the years, many literary works, both on and off the screen, have tried to address the great American history and how it has shaped the present day. One such film is 2022’s most anticipated drama, Emancipation, featuring Will Smith.

Based on true events during the terrible civil war, and the struggles of colored people, the historical thriller tells the story of Peter, an escaped slave trying to survive the agony of wretched plantation owners through his wits and love for his family. From what the trailer suggests, Antoine Fuqua’s filmography would reach heights, acknowledging the wrath of many along the way. The director aims for nothing less than bringing an Academic Award or two home. However, would Fresh Prince’s presence hinder Emancipation from reaching the ultimate best? Here is what The Spectator had to say about it.

Can Will Smith hinder Emancipation from entering the Oscar 2023 race?

Under normal circumstances, the King Richard actor would certainly bag an Oscar for his work in the upcoming historical thriller about the escaped black slaves and their survival. But as the magazine asserts, and many would agree, after the infamous slap gate controversy, the once biggest star of Hollywood is reduced to a subject of ridicule. Not just that, the jury has also banned him from the Oscars for the next 10 years.

Meanwhile, many, including Fuqua, would want to excuse this historical incident as an impulsive response, perhaps a reflex. Chris Rock in one of his stand-up shows alleged the Men in Black star to be just “as ugly as the rest of us.” Continuing on the note, Spectator shot a sharp satire, targeting the movie’s 2-minute teaser clip. 

Critics have a hilarious suggestion for the trailer of the movie

Although the trailer has its share of tortures faced by Smith’s character, the British magazine suggests that perhaps, the “marketing department has missed a trick.” Spectator feels makes should have instead started the preview with a short clip of Jada Smith’s husband assaulting Chris Rock with a voiceover saying, “‘This year, the actor Will Smith made a terrible mistake. Now, he is paying the price.'” 

Following this could be a few clips from the film featuring the torments faced by the actor. Then the quintessential narrator may ask in Ryan Reynolds’ fourth-wall-breaking style: ‘has this redeemed him?’

Perhaps then, the movie could help Will Smith regain his honor and liberate him from his widely believed wrongdoing. But if not, as the journalism platform argues, this well-intentioned movie seems destined to end up as an odd epilogue to a once-glimmering career destroyed by the sheer emotion of anger.

ALSO READ: Throwback to Will Smith Addressing Diversity in Oscar Nominations and Winning Awards

Whether Will Smith is a trouble for the movie remains to be seen. Meanwhile, share your thoughts about it in the comments below.

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