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The War Within

Devotion movie about history making naval aviator Jesse Brown in theaters November 23

Devotion movie about history making naval aviator Jesse Brown in theaters November 23

Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell who portray Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner in Devotion
Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell who portray Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner in Devotion

By Eva D. Coleman
Lifestyle & Culture Editor

Devotion – It’s not about war.

The movie is based on true accounts from the life of Jesse LeRoy Brown who broke barriers as the first Black aviator in the United States Navy.

Brown is portrayed by Duncanville High School class of 2008 graduate Jonathan Majors. While seeing the artist with ties to north Texas on the big screen is thrilling, Majors’ acting prowess delivers chills of the residual pain endured from hatred against Black people, known all too well in the south.

The movie chronicles an epic battle of U.S. naval pilots in the Korean War. The aircraft are nostalgic. The colors throughout the film are dark, definitely invoking a mood. There’s preparation for battle that leads up to a serious time. The battle within is the bigger story.

Jonathan Majors plays first Black U.S. Naval aviator Jesse Brown
Jonathan Majors plays first Black U.S. Naval aviator Jesse Brown

The film looks at unescapable demons from the inside out as Brown verbally manifests notes he’s written. It’s an interesting take on self motivation.

Devotion also provides a glimpse into Black love as Brown dotes on his wife Daisy, played by Christina Jackson, and daughter. It’s a definitive case that emotions from military families torn apart are universal, no matter the race or ethnicity. The movie also displays the strength of a spouse who understands the harsh reality that their loved one might not return.

Fellow naval pilot-turned-friend, Tom Hudner, is played by Glen Powell. The relationship built between Brown and Hudner is one of risk and respect.

Devotion Movie
Devotion Movie

Devotion has many themes that run throughout the course of the film. Brown is put on display for his historic accomplishment and also admired by other Black men who express their appreciation. There are even moments where his charm and unsuspecting intelligence leads to an open door for his white peers. 

Check out this film to experience a plethora of feelings from love to anger and shame.

Bringing Brown’s story to the forefront was well done with a great performance by Majors. Spoiler alert: It does not have a happy ending.

Jonathan Majors with onscreen wife Christina Jackson who plays Daisy Brown
Jonathan Majors with onscreen wife Christina Jackson who plays Daisy Brown

Even in death, although rewarded, the pain of those left behind remains.

Long live the legacy of Jesse Brown as others soar in the complicated path of streaks he made in the skies above. It’s a devotion to family, friendship and country with an undying desire to push through pain.

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