Hidden Figures: A True Story Of Nasa's Three Musketeers
- Our Rating
In 1960's NASA's Atlas rocket is doing heavy experiments in space like sending the first USA man into space as they are already beaten by Russia in space race by sending the first man Yuri Gagarin into space.
So the challenge faced by NASA's scientists was how to bring back the capsule in the rocket safely back to the earth without harming the Astronaut John Glenn. So when the Atlas goes into space it revolves around the earth in an elliptical orbit as the movement in this orbit is necessary in order to skip the earth gravity and keep it moving around the earth. If you try the re-entry of the rocket too early it gets burned down while entering back into earth's atmosphere. And if you do it too late it will skip the earth's gravity.
So the solution to this problem was to change the capsule's orbit from an elliptical orbit to the parabolic orbit precisely at the right moment of time. However it required precise amount of complex mathematical calculations which were unknown to NASA Scientists, as nobody has done that before except Russia.
This is where the three beautiful, young, enthusiastic, loving and of course colored minds come into rescue NASA from its problem and push USA into space and later to the moon.
Directed by Theodore Melfi, "Hidden Figures" is an inspiring tribute to three beautiful genius African Black ladies and how they defy racism and opposition they face among NASA's scientists to come out and help NASA win the space race.
Directed by Theodore Melfi, “Hidden Figures” stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell and Mahershala Ali. The film takes into account the professional and personal struggles of three black American women who now have achieved the cult status after the release of this movie.
The composition is penned by Pharrell Williams, while the music is given by the great Hans Zimmer. The background score gels nicely with what’s going on the screen.
Aerospace Engineer Mary Jackson is played by Janelle Monáe, Mathematician Dorothy Vaughan is played by Octavia Spencer and Taraji P. Henson amazes you with her complex character portrayal of Mathematician Katherine Johnson.
At that time the mainframe computers were at their initial stage and were not able to give the exact result for the set of complex calculations required by the NASA’s scientists. So this is where there was a temporary position for the Human Computers to filled in by 20 African Women who exactly knew how to go about their job. The film brilliantly shows the struggle of superiority between characters played by Taraji Henson and Jim Parsons as Chief NASA Engineer. Kevin Costner plays hard to please NASA Director Al Harrison almost to the perfection. His character perfectly understands the discrimination faced by these women in general, however never shows any emotions except on one occasion.
The films also shows the struggles faced by Aerospace Engineer Mary Jackson and how she challenges the judicial law to take up night classes in an all white school. And Octavia Spencer plays the dominating administrator and Mathematician Dorothy Vaughn who comes to terms with the new and advanced operating system “Fortran” used by the IBM mainframe computers of the time.
Now we know that when NASA launched all those big space shuttles into space, these three unsung women had a lion’s share in them and it’s a pity that we never knew about them. There was specially one scene in the film that touched my heart, when Katherine Johnson wants to go for a bathroom break, she has to travel almost half a mile out of the facility where she works and it takes her 40 minutes to get back to work. And Kevin Costner comes to her rescue. It’s a beautiful portrayal of a leader who can recognize a genius among the geniuses.
According to Wikipedia, “Katherine Johnson ended up calculating the trajectories, launch windows, and emergency back-up return paths for many flights from Project Mercury, including the early NASA missions of John Glenn and Alan Shepard, and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon, through the Space Shuttle program. Her calculations were critical to the success of these missions. Johnson also did calculations for plans for a mission to Mars. ”
In 2015, Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was included in the BBC series 100 Women the next year. On May 5, 2016, the new Katherine G. Johnson Computational Research Facility was formally dedicated at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. This event marked the 55th anniversary of astronaut Alan Shepard’s historic rocket launch and splashdown, which success Johnson helped achieve.
What shocked me most was the existence of the racism towards American Black People and their humiliation just because they have a different skin color. From colored bathrooms to colored section in buses, libraries and even in the courtrooms…and it goes on and on and on.
The film gives you an idea of the problems faced by American Society at large at that time and how they became what they are today. So it was a pity that Katherine Johnson whose character was played by Taraji Henson was bestowed upon a research facility at Langley only this past year.
It’s a story that’s packed with many fun moments and almost a guide on team building. It makes you cry. It makes you laugh.
The film has a power to win your heart on just one line as Kevin Costner says in the film, “HERE AT NASA….WE ALL PEE THE SAME COLOR.”
Directed by Theodore Melfi, We award “Hidden Figures” a perfect 5 score.