Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Movie That Made Me Emotional Today - McFarland USA!


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I watched this movie, 'McFaland USA', which was recorded from TV, just now! Felt emotional and wanted to write about it immediately!  As my readers know by now, I am a sucker for 'based on true story' movies! Have written a few posts on them too! This one also goes into that list!

I first watched Kevin Constner, long back, in 'Tin Cup' which was based on another sport, golf:) I liked him a lot then and used to call him 'Tin cup' actor, since I was not watching too many English movies then and was not familiar with the actors' names!

In this movie, Kevin Costner (as Jim White), plays as a football coach in an American school.  He loses his job because of his short temper and pushed to take a job in a small town High school, McFarland, California.  The Principal of the school also knew his background but needed a football coach very badly, offered the job to him.  The town was very backward, full of immigrant population,  so the school was getting second grade teachers who were reluctant to stay in the town and teach in the school.  Jim White's wife and their two grown up daughters were very reluctant to shift to an old small house.  They faced some goondas also when they tried to have lunch at a local restaurant on their first day of shifting.  They settled down reluctantly.

The children in the school were mostly Spanish immigrant children.  Insecurity made them rude to people/teachers.  They helped their parents who were mostly pickers (fruit & vegetable pickers in the fields) and the children helped them in the morning and evening.  The parents were of the opinion that the children can finish school and join them in their job full time. One father tells his son that too much reading will spoil eyesight! Jim White notices a boy, Thomas, running in full speed to school in the morning and run back home/fields in the evening. He was running like an athlete.  He talks to him but he is rude.  Jim White meets the Principal and asks him to give permission to coach children for the upcoming Inter-school cross country race.  The Principal says that they had never participated in those sports before.  Jim assures him that the children are good in running than any other, so they will win the race.  Jim thinks that the Spanish food which is full of carbohydrates and their hard physical work in the field plus running, will help them win the race.  The Principal agrees reluctantly.

Some parents are not happy to send their children for coaching classes since the time they spend in the field will come down.  Jim himself one day joins in cabbage plucking and experiences the difficulty in bending down and doing the work.  He is convinced once again that these children are very healthy and mentally strong too.  Then the team forms with 4 brothers from one family and others.  Jim buys them the first set of shoes, shirts and shorts, though he is not well off.  The white man and immigrant gap comes down because of Jim's friendliness with the children and their parents.  Slowly Jim shows them by blending with the locals that he was not like others who want to leave the town as early as possible.  He tells them that he will train the children to win the race and many more in the future. The locals are very innocent people and take Jim's family into their fold.  He forgets to get a cake on his daughter's birthday, but later on, the locals celebrate her 15th birthday grandly.

I loved the way Jim gave the children the reasons to join the team and participate in the race.  This will get them scholarships for joining colleges too (and they did join colleges in real life later!). I liked the way the locals raised funds to help the children buy shoes, dress etc. to participate in the race.  The whole town was celebrating the participation of their children in the race.  It was interesting.

They win this race (naturally!) and 9 more races later on. Jim was the coach for all the races. The story never got bored till the end.  Well, we have seen some sports oriented movies earlier too, but this one was very realistic.

Have a look at the trailer.  Watch it when it comes again in TV!





Believe in yourselves, team work will win the race, were the slogan for the game!
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13 comments :

Renu said...

Quite a feel good movie !

Sandhya said...

RENU: Thank you, Renu! You are the first person to comment this time! Thanks once again!

SG said...

It is a very good movie, but could move a little faster.

Destination Infinity said...

I like sports-based movies, so will try to see this one :)

Destination Infinity

Shilpa Chandrasekheran said...

It's a good one

Rama Ananth said...

Would surely watch it, from you description, it does sound very interesting

rudraprayaga said...

It seems interesting.Nicely penned.

Sandhya said...

SG: But the acting was good. So I was happy!


DESTINATION INFINITY: I have watched many including 'Dhoni':)


SHILPA CHANDRASEKHERAN: So, you too liked it? Good!


RAMA ANANTH: It was good! You will like it!


RUDRAPRAYAGA: Thank you, Rudraprayaga!

sharu said...

mami, after reading your post , I dont think I need to watch this movie:) Well narrated. Enjoyed reading.

sm said...

nice review
movie looks good
i will watch it when get the time.

Sandhya said...

SHARU: Thank you, Sharada!


sm: Please do, thank you!

Onkar said...

A beautiful story beautifully told.

Sandhya said...

ONKAR: Thank you, Onkar!

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