“Fences” is an apt title for this dramatic film, as it focuses on a man who wants to keep some things inside and other things out. Denzel Washington gives a layered performance as Troy Maxson, a husband and father who works as a garbage man. His wife Rose (Viola Davis) loves him loyally, and he constantly jokes with her about getting off alone to make love to her. He is tough on his teen son, Cory (Jovan Adepo), who wants to play sports as his dad did. Troy played baseball in the old Negro leagues and had a great ability for the game but was too old by the time black players began to play in the major leagues. Cory wants to play football, but when a man comes to recruit him, Troy refuses to agree to it, telling his son to continue working at the A & P store and to learn a trade. This doesn’t sit well with Cory.
Troy has been complaining at work for a black man to be promoted to a truck driver and he finally gets the job himself, although he admits he doesn’t have a driver’s license. Troy looks out for his brother Gabe, who was injured in the war, has a metal plate in his head, and doesn’t always act rationally. In fact, when Troy has an affair and admits it to Rose, he blames the stress on his life as the reason he had the affair.
Washington is powerful in his role as the complicated Troy, playing a laughing, joking man who is simmering below the surface due to the injustices he has endured.
Regrettably, due to the sexual comments and strong language, we are prevented from awarding “Fences” our Dove Family-Approved Seal.