Movie Review: The Hate U Give

Audrey Toscano, Staff Writer

The Hate U Give, written by Angie Thomas, is a story about an African-American teenage girl named Starr Carter who constantly feels torn between her life at Garden Heights and Williamson Prep, creating a split in her identity. Garden Heights is the predominantly black, lower-class community, or “ghetto,” where Starr lives. Williamson Prep, on the other hand, is the wealthy, primarily white school that Starr attends. Starr wants to keep the two versions of herself—Williamson Starr and Garden Heights Starr—separate.
One of Starr’s favorite people in Garden Heights is her childhood best friend, Khalil. The two used to be inseparable when they were kids and knew everything about each other, but they drifted apart, leaving Starr to feel responsible. When Starr attends a party at Garden Heights, she sees Khalil and they immediately reconnect, picking up right where they left off. Starr knows that Khalil lost his mother to drug addiction and that he has been selling drugs in order to help his grandmother who has cancer. However, Starr does not let that define Khalil; he is not a drug dealer in Starr’s mind.

When Khalil takes Starr home from the party, they are pulled over by a white police officer. Even though Khalil was unarmed, the police officer shoots him. Despite being deeply affected by Khalil’s death, Starr is initially hesitant to speak up about the shooting. All over the media, Starr sees Khalil labeled as a “thug” and a “drug dealer,” as if those descriptions explain and justify his death. These misrepresentations of Khalil spark Starr to find her voice and speak up as she fights for racial justice.

Both the movie and the novel versions of The Hate U Give tackle many important issues prevalent today, including police brutality, drug abuse, and racism. When I watched this film, I almost forgot that it was scripted, as the actions and scenarios covered happen in everyday life. The Hate U Give is a must-see, as its strong and powerful message inspires awareness of the world around us.