Synopsis & Review of The Hate U Give, Against Stereotypes & Racism

Humans are social creatures who must relate to other people. Not infrequently we have to be faced with interacting with other people of different ethnicity, language, race and religion.

But that shouldn’t be a problem because actually the diversity that exists makes life more colorful.

A community group must have gone through a long process to form certain norms. Unfortunately, sometimes there are many stories from ancient times that should be irrelevant, but are still believed. One of them is racist behavior.

The Hate U Give film tries to raise the theme of racism. What is the synopsis and review of the film like? Check out the following review!

Read also: Green Book Review & Synopsis, Racism Issues in Comedy Stories


  • Release Year: 2018
  • Genre: Drama
  • Production: Fox 2000 Pictures, Temple Hill Entertainment, State Street Pictures
  • Director: George Tillman Jr.
  • Player: Amanda Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, KJ Apa, Sabrina Carpenter

Starr Carter is a 16 year old teenager living in the Garden Heights area. The majority of the population living in Garden Heights are black people.

Maverick, Starr’s father chose to send Starr to a school with a majority of white students named Williamson Pep.

Starr is invited out by Khalil, his childhood friend. The two of them then went to a party. While enjoying the atmosphere, there was the sound of gun shots.

Khalil immediately took Starr away and planned to take him home immediately. On the street, Khalil was stopped by the police for not turning on the turn signal.

One of the policemen shouted for Khalil to lower the window and turn down the music volume but Khalil refused. Police tells Khalil to get out of the car.

Khalil got out of the car then gave his driver’s license to be checked by Police. The police ordered Khalil to keep his hand on the hood of the car while the police checked his identity card.

Khalil lowered his head to see Starr’s condition and intended to pick up a comb. The police even shot Khalil dead. Starr is hysterical, the Police realize that what Khalil took was a comb not a gun. Khalil’s death at the hands of the Police immediately became national news.

Starr’s status as a witness is hidden from those around her, including Starr’s two best friends, Hailey and Maya. Neither did Starr’s boyfriend, Chris, who was not told at all.

Starr’s actions were not without reason. Garden Heights contains black people who are involved in the criminal world and that can cause their actions to be known to the Police.

Feeling pressured to deliver justice, Starr finally agreed to be interviewed on television under a pseudonym.

Starr’s courage came after being helped by April Ofrah, a human rights lawyer. When explaining what happened about Khalil on television, Starr mentions King Lords, the name of the gangsters in his neighborhood. Starr’s actions angered the members of the King Lords.

They began to threaten the Starr family. Feeling that family life is not safe, Starr and his family choose to move to the house of Carlos, Starr’s mother’s brother who works as a detective.

Carlos himself was a father figure to Starr as a child because Maverick had to languish in prison. Maverick used to be part of the King Lords.

He is in prison for creating false testimony so that King, the leader of the King Lords, is not arrested. When released from prison, Maverick was given the freedom to get out easily.

Maverick also chooses to continue his life by opening a retail store with the help of Starr’s half-brother, Seven. Starr is in a difficult position. He wanted to speak the truth and defend his people but instead received threats from his own people.

Besides, he’s bound to get mixed reactions at his school where the majority of the students are white. What method will Starr choose? Will he be willing to fight harder and take risks?

Stereotypes and Racism

Stereotypes and Racism

Cases of racism are still common in various countries. When the times have advanced in such a way, some people are still doing this disgraceful behavior somehow.

America, which has experienced a bad period with segregation, also finds it difficult to suppress the number of racism. The Hate U Give appears with this theme.

Victims of racism are mostly black people who are considered second class society. The severity of this racism is also exacerbated by the assumption that black people are members of gangsters or drug dealers.

For this reason, some police officers take brutal actions lightly because of the stereotypes that have been formed.

The Hate U Give is based on the book of the same name by Angie Thomas. We will be presented with how Starr struggles in dealing with various obstacles just because he is black.

The theme of racism is really explored in addition to the events that happened to Khalil, there are also racist comments from Starr’s own friends. This shows that racism is hereditary.

Strong Character Deepening

Strong Character Deepening

The greatness of The Hate U Give is its strong character immersion in Starr. There is a scene where Starr is chatting with his father.

Maverick tells Starr when he is stopped by the Police on the street, then he has to obey the Police’s request and raise his hand despite not understanding what offense was committed.

Maverick knows very well the environment he lives in has the potential to have a bad influence on Starr. Therefore, he is willing to pay more so that the child does not have much contact with people who are involved in dark lives.

Moreover, Maverick had fallen into a dark world. Maverick once sold drugs and became a gangster and even had to languish in prison for three years. The dynamics of the relationship between Maverick and his wife also strengthen the story.

Both are told as parents who have different perspectives on raising children. Cinematographically, this film gives its own experience in presenting the visualization of Garden Heights and Williamson.

Garden Heights was made to feel warm while Williamson was made paler. Maybe it was intended to strengthen the character of Starr who actually fits better in Garden Heights and feels alienated in Williamson.

Amanda Stenberg’s Appearance

Amanda Stenberg's Appearance

The Hate U Give really relies on the character of Starr. We will see the changes that occur in Starr. Starting from an ordinary school student, his bitterness was being a witness to a murder until he became a person who mobilized the masses to demand justice for Khalil’s death.

George Tillman Jr. as a director knows very well how to create important moments in a film so that the audience can feel an emotional closeness with Starr.

Amandla Stenberg, who played Starr, managed to carry out his duties well. Starr’s character changes throughout the story become an effective way to invite the audience to see how an activist struggles.

The plot flows fairly well from the very beginning until Starr finds the reason that drives it. Stenberg’s prowess in acting can be seen when Starr feels traumatized by having to be trapped in a situation he doesn’t want.

The Hate U Give is not grandiose in revealing the story. The themes of racism, stereotypes and police brutality were boldly raised. The duration is quite long, which is 133 minutes, it won’t feel long.

We will be carried away emotionally watching Starr’s struggle to uphold justice and eliminate hatred. If you have any recommendations for other films with the theme of racism, you can share them in the comments column, friends!

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