Views from the Sofa’s Greatest Scenes is a list of the greatest moments in the movies. This could be long introductions, moments of action or great dialogue between characters. The scenes are in no particular order and come from many different types of movies.
It isn’t often that one scene can so perfectly capture a key character. Even rarer still that it also holds a great performance which essentially comes down to a single monologue. Fences holds this though and in one scene, used heavily in the marketing for the movie, Denzel Washington’s character is captured and exposed for the flawed centre of the whole movie.
Greatest Scene Number 43: Fences – “Why don’t you like me?”
The scene is so innocuous to begin with. It actually starts on a positive note. Denzel Washington’s character of Troy is having a jovial conversation with his son and even makes a generous offer but this soon turns sour when he discovers that his son has quit a job to train for football.
What follows towards the end of this scene captures the harsh man that Troy is and his attitude to both his family and the world. Most people would respond to their children with “of course I like you” but Troy is harsh, chastising his son for a stupid question and putting him in his place.
The speech Washington gives is a great one and makes the scene so captivating. The film itself is so successful because of Washington’s performance (although Viola Davis matches him too) but this scene stands-out as one where Washington switches moods so quickly and holds the screen as only he seems to be able to do.
It isn’t necessarily a complicated monologue either but Washington makes it feel so natural. It is delivered at a blistering pace, making the message he is conveying all the more harsh and cruel as you watch him demoralise and destroy his own son. It also encapsulates the character as a whole. Almost all you need to know about Troy is in this one scene, from his attitudes to money and frivolous spending through to the way he treats his family and his opinions on why he does what he does.
Overall, this one scene in Fences manages to capture a whole character and their story. It is centred around a fantastic performance from Denzel Washington, who can make you scared, excited and tense all in one amazing delivery of a fast paced monologue.