Green Book, released in 2018 and awarded the Oscar for Best Picture, is a biography, drama and comedy. Our movie stars two main characters. First, there is Viggo Mortensen as Tony Lip and Mahershala Ali as the famous black pianist Don Shirley. The movie is based on a true story about the black-white divide of the 1960s.
The Green Guide, which also gives its name to the title of the film, is a guide for black people to have a vacation without any problems and to travel safely in America. Because when we look at the 1960s, it is possible to see that some restaurants, hotels and bars were reserved for blacks. This guide also guides black people during the travel process. Dr. Shirley, a black pianist, will travel to the southern tip of America for an eight-week concert journey. But he needs someone with a bit of a rough temperament to chauffeur him on this journey. Tony Lip and Dr. Shirley cross paths when the nightclub where he used to work closes for a few months and he is looking for a job. These two men, whose views on life, lives, ideas and skin colors are different from each other, set off for the concerts of the famous pianist. This journey marks the beginning of a great transformation and journey for both of them. Tony learns from Dr. Shirley how to overcome his prejudice, how to write nice letters to his wife, how to be a calmer person, while Dr. Shirley learns from Tony some relaxed behavior, the instinct of protection and friendship. Of course, the friendship between these two very different people does not progress easily. At the beginning, Tony, who himself is prejudiced against black people, is saddened and surprised by Dr. Shirley’s experiences. Because the laws are so strict and strict that Dr. Shirley, who gave a concert to hundreds of people as a black person, cannot eat with whites at the hotel before the concert and cannot use the hotel toilet. Tony cannot understand this situation and Dr. Shirley cannot explain himself. He only says these words:
If I’m not black enough,
If I’m not white enough,
If I’m not man enough,
Tell me, Tony, what am I?
But over time, Tony begins to understand Dr. Shirley, to see the difficulties of her life. He develops a great friendship for this black musician who is always kind no matter what. This friendship is completely mutual. But as Tony says:
“The world is full of lonely people who are afraid to take the first step.”
When this step is taken, we see that the truth is not centered in one place, that there are different lives, different emotions and feelings. The movie is a must-see both in terms of acting and the fact that it is based on real life in order to give these feelings to the audience. Green Book is a movie where you can find laughter, sadness, drama and happiness that exist in friendship.
At the end of the movie, it is a pleasure to see Tony and Shirley, whose real lives are given at the end of the movie, and to know that their friendship continues.