REVIEW – FENCES – Denzel Washington stars in and directs Fences – a kind of Death of a Garbageman.
Denzel Washington chooses finally to put his acting chops to good use. Following on from the unwashed bilge of The Equalizer and several Tony Scott-lite thrillers, Fences comes as a relief. Directing himself, Washington plays Troy, a garbageman with the gift of the gab. He weaves an incessant spiel with best friend Bono (Stephen Henderson) and his long-suffering wife Rose (Viola Davis). His history is slowly revealed, along with his university of life wisdom.
Slowly we also understand a deeply corrosive side to his character, which risks destroying his family. Based on a celebrated stage play by August Wilson, Washington film looks wonderful but doesn’t bother trying to shrug off its theatrical origins. The rhythm of the dialogue is crucially retained and the heavy handed metaphor of the fence itself is unavoidable. The holy fool brother also feels shopworn, but Washington and Davis are truly brilliant and worth the ticket.