Hidden Figures – Movie Review

‘Hidden Figures’ directed by Theodore Melfi is a biographical drama about the incomparable contributions of three African American woman to the NASA. It is the story of 3 unsung heroes – 3 women who are not widely known in the American history. Katherine – one of the most significant mathematicians in NASA, Dorothy Vaughan – the first ever computer supervisor in NASA and Mary Jackson – the first ever female aeronautical engineer in NASA.

‘Hidden Figures’ is full of heart, right from the title credits. The film shows how these 3 women proudly worked for the country servicing the NASA, despite facing all suppressions. There is not even a single boredom moment or any unnecessary deviation from the plot, which makes it completely engaging and entertaining.

Director Theodore Melfi educates the audience very clearly about the humiliations, insults and ill-treatments faced by the negroes in the initial scenes itself. It was indeed a shock to know that many parts of United States had separate bathrooms and even separate buses and separate colleges for the colored ones. The scene where Katherine is asked to have coffee in a separate machine in NASA and the insult to Dorothy in the library are a few to mention. Nevertheless to mention the unwritten rules such as ‘the colored ones should not speak, until the white speaks first’.

The pivotal characters and their traits are distinctively represented. The 3 women, the utmost straight-forward Harrison, the race conscious Mitchell, the jealousy Stafford and all other characters are very well portrayed. Dorothy is refused of her supervisor post, Mary Jackson’s application for the Engineer post is rejected and Katherine has her own problems – despite all these odds, the women prove their capabilities and win their managers’ trust and making them more dependent on their skills. Each of their greater potential in maths, aeronautics and computers contributed abundantly to the NASA.

The dialogues have been as sharp as it could be. Katherine saying that ‘I am not a Russian, sir’, Dorothy’s conversations with Mrs.Mitchelle, Katherine’s lines with Jim Johnson, and Harrison saying ‘Here at NASA, we all pee the same colour’ are a few golden lines. There are a lot of goosebumps moments such as the courtroom arguments of Mary Jackson, Katherine deriving the toughest equations in a few seconds in front of the higher officials, Dorothy being appointed as the Supervisor for IBM team with all her subordinates and the climax where the astronaut John Glenn calls in for a final verification by Katherine before getting into the rocket and many more.

‘Hidden Figures’ is one of the finest biopics that has released in recent times. An awesome entertainer that deserves your time and attention. Not to be missed at all!  

– Rahman

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