Thursday, August 21, 2008

[Movie] Freedom Writers

It is very rare to come upon a movie that affects us so deep and leaves us soaking in its dialogues and acting...

A movie i saw couple of days back was like that ... i was randomly surfing channels, when i hit upom HBO and what i saw had me glued, so much so, i told my grandparents to wait a bit to have dinner... The movie was  Freedom Writers

These are days when am so glad i have a set top box and have the privilege of watching such wonderful movies...!!!

It is based on a true story of a young idealistic white school teacher who gets a job in a high school filled with black kids and gangs. Yes, the initial many of the scenes reminded me of Michelle Pfeiffer in  Dangerous Minds,  and Sidney Poitier in To Sir with love, but this was different.. It is Freedom Writers, adapted from the diaries of Woodrow Wilson High School students, with Hilary Swank as the teacher[her 1st time in the job] who is trying to change the world, or atleast teach and make a mark on couple of students, who have the potential but not given adequate attention.

Erin Gruwell aka Miss G, (Hilary Swank) is a simple white girl with grand ideas and thats is when she volunteers to take her first teaching job[actually she is a student teacher] at racially charged, run down Wilson High School in South Central Los Angeles [ The film is the city reeling with the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles riots]. Located in gang-ravaged Long Beach, California, Woodrow Wilson High is a filled with rough kids and  violence. On her first day, she walks into the class in a bright cherry-red suit and black pumps, her strand of pearls gleaming in her neck, and looks quite goofy in a class of rugged black kids...
The students are understandably skeptical, excruciatingly contemptuous. From where they sit, slumped and hunched, some with their backs literally turned away from the front of the room, Erin looks like the stranger she is, but slowly weaves her way into the lives of these helpless kids!!




While never having heard of the Holocaust, these kids are well-versed in the pain of poverty, the legal system, and death. Their devoted teacher Erin Gruwell never gives up, she slowly bonds with her class, giving them books to read{Diary of Anne Frank, Odyssey], helping them vent out all the pain and agony within them through the journals. The Scene where she gives them each a book and says she will read them only if the student gives her permission is where the change happens [ the trust develops and slowly they open up to her and learn to alter their lifestyles,. looking fwd to school...]  
  
Meanwhile, a strain is put on Erin's marriage as her student involvement gradually takes priority over her personal life. The intensity with which Erin relates to her work threatens her husband (Patrick Dempsey), who in seeing Erin's transformation, is reminded of his own stagnancy.. She even pleads with him to take up studying architecture, which is what he wanted, but he walks out, leaving her lost and alone... 

Erin asks the kids to write letters to Miep Gies (Pat Carroll), the woman who hid Anne from the Nazis. In order to raise money for Gies to come to California, Erin takes a weekend job at the Mariott! With three jobs, shewords towards taking her students on field trips (to a Holocaust museum) and dinners at the hotel’s restaurant.  The other teachers balk. They go to the school board and protest,but Erin wins!!!! :)

Freedom Writers works because the group of teenage actors they’ve brought together in it are anbsolutely awesome, raw, and their  performances make it worth watching. 

2 comments:

ceedy said...

thank you for sharing...will see the movie soon

Aaarti said...

@ceedy - :) sure thing, let me know what you think of it!