A different kind of 'Help'

By Meghan Doyle
Executive News Editor
As I watched the pudgy blonde baby bang against the picture window, I couldn’t stop the tears from cascading down my cheeks. The scene was so real to me, so life-like – not unlike the rest of The Help, directed by Tate Taylor and based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett. The story focuses on two African-American maids in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi, where they are treated horribly by their white mistresses. The maids cook, clean, and even take care of the white children better than their own socialite mothers do, yet are neglected and discriminated against severely. 
Part of the reality of the film comes from the emotion with which Viola Davis (Aibileen) and Octavia Spencer (Minny), the two maids, react to what is thrown at them. One of the issues facing the help, or the maids, was that of having separate bathrooms from the white families. One of the white women was even trying to pass legislation that every white home should have a separate bathroom for the help, in order to keep whites safe from “unknown diseases.”
Eventually, however, the two maids are given the unlikely chance to anonymously speak out by one of the white women in town, Emma Stone (Skeeter), who has decided to write a book featuring the daily struggles of the help. The relationships that develop between the women become the heart and soul of the movie, along with genuine, heartfelt, and sometimes comedic experiences shared among the friends.
Unlike your typical Disney or Pixar movie, this film is sprinkled with bits of real life, in which not every story ends with the gorgeous princess riding into the sunset with her handsome prince. It’s for this reason that The Help will leave audiences young and old laughing, crying, and, most of all, inspired to speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves.