24 June 2011

The Blind Side - John Lee Hancock

The Blind Side, directed by John Lee Hancock, can be seen as one of these things - 1. a feel-good movie with a hidden agenda seeking to convince everyone that everything turns out just right in the end; 2. a feel-good movie that will definitely bring out the cynic in every person that doesn't fall for that lie; and 3. a hidden racist comment that white people are the only ones that can rehabilitate and redeem all the colored people in the world! 

But here is where the movie shocks and stuns - The Blind Side is NONE of these things, because it is literally a true story!!! Yes, people actually did all the things that the director claims they did in the movie!

Based on the book on the same, The Blind Side is the story of the Touhys, and especially Leigh Ann Touhy, a southern lady from a very affluent family, and Michael Oher, the Afro-American boy that they lovingly take into their family. Okay, hold the cynicism, let me finish. 



So, Leigh Ann spots Michael for the first time when she sees her little son fist bumping with this giant of a black kid in the school playground. She is surprised to see this (in her own words) "fly in a glass of milk" situation - where there is literally only one black kid in an ocean of white kids in the school. This was not a school that most black kids could afford. Michael was being helped by the state.

Later, the Touhys spot Michael walking by himself on a cold night, with just a garbage bag full of all his belongings in the whole world. Leigh Ann gives him a place to stay, since it is such a cold night and the boy has no place to go. Soon, she is convinced that she simply cannot turn this boy out on his own, and decides to let him stay with them. The Touhys - Dad, Mom, the little boy S.J, and the teenage daughter Collin -  welcome Michael with open arms. Again, hold the cynicism!
The Touhy's Christmas portrait

Slowly, the naysayers start coming out of the woodwork. Other wealthy women start advising  Leigh Ann on how she should consider the safety of her teenage daughter since this huge black boy (Michael, being 6 foot 3 inches at 17 years, was truly intimidating!) could turn on Collins at any moment. Some say that it does not look good for a wealthy church-going white family like them to be taking in stray folks like Michael. The scene where Leigh Ann tells off these society women is subdued and yet powerful enough to fully portray how it must have happened in real life.

Soon, Michael is accepted in the football team (heck, they practically salivate at the thought that he was on their team!) since he is so large, and is best suited for defense. You know, American football is where they push and shove like crazy, and a huge, intimidating mountain of a kid is just the thing they need! Interesting scenes ensue of Michael struggling to bring on the violence since he is really just a gentle giant, and then Leigh Ann stepping in to tell him that he should think of his team as his family and defend them.... Michael scored 98% in protective instincts and Leigh Ann's words appeal to that side of him. From then on, it is just Michael plowing people all the way down the field!! Some of the most humorous scenes in the story come out of Michael's plowing! :D

Leigh Ann goes on to adopt the boy, and the rest of the story is about whether Michael gets his grades up enough to join varsity football, and whether the people who step in to help him are successful, and interestingly, which college he would choose if he gets to go. 

What's in it for us? Well, football fans and experts will get a kick out of watching world renowned coaches stepping in to play themselves, and also watching the famous yet very secretive home-recruitment scenes (where coaches come to talk to the much-in-demand footballer, to convince him to choose their college).

Movie buffs? This thing has Sandra Bullock in it, and won her an Oscar. What more do you want? Go watch it!

And girls? When you ask the man in your life to sit with you and watch a chickflick and he stumps you with the argument that you would never sit down and watch a football movie with him, you can just say, "Oh yeah, I can totally do that! Let's watch The Blind Side. It's a football movie." You can watch it without gagging, and even though your man might have the sneaking suspicion that he's been conned, he can't really do anything about it, because heck! the movie has real football coaches in it!! You can't disprove that!!

This movie literally just works out alright for everyone.
I just put this picture in here, because, really, what's better than Mommy reading you a story at bedtime?

I liked the movie for the pureness of it all. I saw this movie last week, and I still can't come to terms with the fact that there are people out there who would actually be so kind and caring, in this time and world, where you shouldn't be surprised if the person you love or thought was your best friend stabs you in the back without warning! The people whose story this is, are very real, and after having watched the movie, they just about said, "Yep. that's what happened." So, Yes, people can be kind and gentle, and can have that kindness, gentleness and loyalty returned. But the HUGE lesson here is: You've got to be kind, gentle and humane first.
The real Touhys and Micheal Oher. I'd say the on-screen people are dead-ringers of these folks!
You see, that is what makes this story so poignant and so necessary. We need to know that there is still some goodness out there.... and people, believe me, there IS goodness still left somewhere in mankind. You just need to know where to look for it.
Heart-warming, cynic-stumping, tear-jerking, and hope-inspiring - The Blind Side opens eyes! Watch!
Here's the trailer to give you a taste:


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3 comments:

Karen Xavier said...

:) Ah, Christmas and happiness go hand in hand. I guess you were at your emotional best while writing this... I thought the movie was okay, I mean I did not think she deserved an award for it. But its true, what they did took real courage and compassion... opening their home to a burly stranger, who does that these days. Her husband in the movie is Tim McGraw, a hunky country singer. The younger son was rather cute...

BackStage said...

Ooooh I love this movie - one of those movies which you don't mind watching over and over again. Nice review... Sandra looks amazing in this movie and I just love that small kid - the perfect mix for the movie.

dazzlingray said...

Saw this movie twice....Loved it!I was equally amazed by the goodness of the The Touhy's and the fact that Michael was able to keep him pure and gentle amidst all the mess he underwent. Closing your eyes (ignoring) when something awful happens, really works, I guess!

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