The moment you read in the opening credits that the movie is based on a true story, you know that the rest of the movie is going to be some serious shit.
Oscar Grant III was fatally shot by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California, United States, in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009, The events were captured on multiple digital video and cell phone cameras. The footage was disseminated to media outlets and to various websites, where it was watched millions of times. On July 8, 2010, the jury returned its verdict: Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and not guilty of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. On November 5, 2010, Mehserle was sentenced to two years, minus time served. He served his time in the Los Angeles County Jail, occupying a private cell away from other prisoners. He was released on June 13, 2011 and is now on parole.
That is the story any media portal will reveal, that is something that you already know then why make a movie, it was just an accidental killing apparently a second degree murder. Well what looked like just a mistake was something more , the death of Oscar grant left a gap in many lives and this is what Ryan Coogler has shown in the movie.
The movie portrays life of Oscar grant from few hours before the day he was about to be killed. It shows his importance into the lives of three most important women in his life his mother, his girlfriend and his daughter. The film gives you nothing more than the details of the day Oscar dies. But the way it has been portrayed in the film, it leaves you emotionally numb; the scenes have been directed so well and real that you will place yourself at the actual scene. You see the movie like an omnipresent entity, perhaps like a person holding the camera all the time.
Ryan also portrays what being black means and how the racism still exists, like an invisible cloak always surrounding the life of a coloured man, woven with prejudice. There is a scene in the movie where a dog gets butchered on road, a dog with whom Oscar was playing moments ago. The scene perhaps symbolises his own death, the way he was shot for nothing just like a dog whose death made no difference to anybody.
The film is a great achievement, considering the fact that there was so little to do with the story. The performance by each character makes it even more special.
Fruitvale station created waves at Sundance film festival 2013, looks like a legible candidate for Oscar 2014. Watch for your own good.