Movies & More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on “Respect,” which is rated PG-13 and available on DVD.
I became an Aretha Franklin fan in college when her “Freeway of Love” single was a big success and inspired me to learn more about her other popular songs.
The late Aretha Franklin’s beloved No. 1 song “Respect” lends its name to the biopic about the Queen of Soul starring Jennifer Hudson.
The Oscar-winning Hudson gives an amazing performance as the iconic Franklin. “Respect” offers Franklin’s fans plenty of musical moments, but the movie has many dramatic and intense scenes involving Franklin’s personal life. Even as a fan of Franklin’s music, I was not very aware of many of the details the film presents about her private life.
“Respect” begins when Franklin is a young girl living with her grandmother (Kimberly Scott) and father (played by Oscar winner Forest Whitaker). Franklin’s father allows her to sing for some of his friends at parties and at the church he leads.
“Respect” depicts both a tragic event and a traumatic experience in Franklin’s childhood. The movie also shows her landing a recording contract, producing several albums and then searching to find music that will allow her to connect to the public and share her amazing musical talents in the best way possible. “Respect” also looks at Franklin’s relationships with her family members, people in the music industry and Martin Luther King Jr. (portrayed by Gilbert Glenn Brown).
The cast of “Respect” also features Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington in addition to Marlon Wayans, Tituss Burgess, Tate Donovan and Audra McDonald as Franklin’s mother.
The movie ends as Franklin is recording a successful gospel album at her father’s church in 1972. During the credits, a performance by the late Aretha Franklin is shown.