The Underground Railroad Review – Authentic, Riveting, An Against All Odds Suspense Story

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The Underground Railroad, an Amazon original series, brings to the screen an emotionally raw historical biopic on the underground railroad, which transported slaves to freedom in 1800s America, and a runaway slave followed by a bloodhound bounty hunter.

The series opens on Randell plantation in Georgia, where we meet Cora, played by Thuso Mbedu, a teenage slave girl. The slave life, working in the fields, treated with abuse, raped at whim or will, treated as property and forced to procreate sets the tone.

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The mental, emotional, and physical abuse tactics are heightened in the first episode so the audience will understand the risk for the runaway.

Our girl Cora and her friend, Caesar, played by Aaron Pierre, who can read and understands the life they have is not a life unless they are free, convinces Cora to come with him. Her friend, Lovey, played by Zane Jhe, decides to leave also. The three begin their journey, understanding it won't be long before bounty hunters are fast on the trail.

Eight hours into freedom, the first round of slave hunters show up and Cora kills one of the men before escaping with Caesar. Now, she is more than simply a slave runaway, she is a murderer.

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The great slave hunter Ridgeway, played by Joel Edgerton and his associate, a freed slave child, Homer, played by Chase Dillon, are employed to bring back the most difficult runaways. A bloodhound bounty hunter, he is known for his tracking skills, impeccable record, and for the one slave, Mabel, played by Sheila Atim, he never found.

An against all odds thriller, The Underground Railroad presents moments of heightened suspense, horror, and extreme cruelty, as the hunt for Cora continues with intermittent moments of true freedom, only to be snatched away.

Gaining freedom comes at a price, death follows at every turn even in states where slaves are no longer considered property, pockets of uprisings still exist, and the law still favors the freeman over the formally freed slave.

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Told across ten episodes, The Underground Railroad is historically accurate when depicting the life of slaves, the harsh and violent treatment and limitedly the underground railroad. Jenkins depicts the underground transportation system as an actual train, which is important to note that the underground railroad was made up of individuals who at great risk to themselves moved runaway slaves along an extensive trail, from the south to all points north, providing shelter, food and safety and instructions to the next stop.

The episodes are segmented according to Cora's travels, "Georgia," "South Carolina," "North Carolina," "The Great Spirit," "Tennessee Exodus," "Tennessee Proverbs," "Fanny Briggs," "Indiana Autumn," "Indiana Winter," "Mabel."

The Underground Railroad, portrays a point in history that is not appealing, illustrating hardship, generational hate and intermittently weaving in the possibility that maybe, somewhere, there are a people who, are either drawn by conscience, an ethical compass, or simply guided by integrity and see beyond skin color to humanity.

The Underground Railroad begins streaming May 14, 2021. A must see.

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Country: USA.

Runtime: Ten episodes

Director: Barry Jenkins

Writer: Barry Jenkins, Jihan Crowther, Jacqueline Hoyt, Nathan Parker, Allison Davis, Adrienne Rush, based on the book by Colson Whitehead.

Producers: Jamie Feldman, Shawn Petersen.

Executive Producers: Adele Romanski, Brad Pitt, Sara Murphy, Lindsey Molnar, Jeremy Kleiner, Barry Jenkins, Jacqueline Hoyt, Richard Heus, Dede Gardner, Mark Ceryak.

Cast: Thuso Mbedu, Chase Dillon, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Pierre, Amber Gray, William Jackson Harper, Peter Mullan, Kraig Dane, Sheila Atim, Jeff Pope, Lucius Baston, Kylee D. Allen, Mychal-Bella Bowman, Lily Rabe, Damon Herriman, Lucy Faust, David Wilson Barnes, Trevor David, Marcus Gladney Jr., Calvin Leon Smith, Peter De Jersey, and Chukwudi Iwuji.

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