Some stories are not meant to be told. Especially on screen. Precious is one of those stories.
Precious, based on the novel Push by Sapphire, tells the story of an overweight, illiterate teen that is pregnant with her second child. Precious’ father is also the father of both of her babies. She lives in a house with her mother, for whom she cooks all meals and does all chores while her mother berates her constantly. Precious feels hopeless.
Depicting the harsh reality of Precious’ life is impossible. Watching it on screen is almost as inconceivable. Vivid rape and strong verbal abuse scenes are often too much to handle.
However, the movie does have great qualities. Precious’ dreams of becoming famous that interrupt her real-life situations are well edited. Additionally, the school that Precious attends gives the audience a much-needed comic relief in the middle of all the horror.
Gabourey Sidibe does a wonderful job as Precious, truly bringing the sadness to life. Hearts ache for the depressed teenager that cannot seem to get any breaks in life. Mo’Nique plays a great atrocious mother, but she doesn’t necessarily deserve all of the recent credit that she has gotten for her role. In some scenes it seems as though screaming is her only acting tactic. It strays from acting at some points and feels more like a soap opera.
While Precious contains various qualities that make it a technically good movie, the story makes it too uncomfortable to watch. Yes, the saddest and most depressing movies tend to evoke the most feeling and compassion from the audience, but when one must turn one’s head away from the sheer pain of watching, it has gone to far.
Precious gives an important message, but it certainly doesn’t give it in the most tactful way.