-Timo Cruz (role of Rick Gonzalez)-
Thomas Carter was able to utilize his superior skills in directing to a whole new level in making the 2004 inspirational film entitled “Coach Carter” which starred Samuel L. Jackson, Rob Brown, Rick Gonzalez, Channing Tatum, Robert Ri'chard and pop-music icon Ashanti. The film was based on a true story which occurred in 1999 about the controversial Coach Ken Carter who believed that his players can excel in life by means of suggesting the value of education to them who were all focused in playing basketball only associating the unpleasant culture of racial discrimination. The film combined the genres of drama and sports action which was able to excite and inspire viewers mutually making it genuinely good and entertaining with numerous heart-pounding actions on the court.
The film goes back in 1999, wherein the protagonist, Ken Carter, a successful sporting goods store owner, fully agrees to take the job as a basketball coach for his old High School in Richmond, California where he was a champion athlete. At first, he’s disappointed since his new players display immoral behaviors in addition to their playing routine. Despite of those, he hasn’t give up in trying to make changes to his athletes in all human aspects. Aside from being strict for having his players sign contracts, he lets them perform tough exercise routines which test each one’s limits. He imposes good playing performance, respectful attitude as well as maintaining good grades in class which serve as necessities to the players so they can participate. After Carter’s undisputed trainings, his team became undefeated but as soon as he learns that much of his players perform poorly in class, he cancels all team games and locks the gymnasium preventing them to play. The team showed improving grades as time passes but the “lockout” controversy has made the community participate in a debate against Coach Carter. However, Carter remained in his methods, still determined to show his team needs to think their future clearly if not taking education seriously. Eventually, he’s able to affect the minds of his team more reflectively inspiring them to do all he has said to them.
Samuel L. Jackson made one of his spectacular performances in this film. He really delivered his words clearly and effectively. He was able to display the real character of one basketball coach in his manners, gestures and his strong personality was perceived in every scene of the film. Jackson’s one striking line in the film’s: “I came to coach basketball players, and you became students. I came to teach boys, and you became men.” Rick Gonzalez played effectively the role of a drug-dealer of Timo Cruz, who once gave up in playing basketball. With all his sacrifices to get back on the team, Gonzalez displayed a real player’s persevering heart just to return to his passion of playing. Channing Tatum's good in displaying his character as a White, shown to be descriminated in the film by the Blacks. One line from him struck me: "You said we're a team. One person struggles, we all struggle. One person triumphs, we all triumph". Lastly, Ashanti made her first appearance in a movie as the pregnant girlfriend of Kenyon Stone. All I could say's that she's able to portray REAL the role of a teenage mother. As for the remaining actors, such as the other players of Richmond Oilers were able to convey light comedy lines, thus adding very light comedy and humor in the movie. Without them, with their small witty acts, clumsiness at times and endearing, funny smiles, the film would be too serious.
“Coach Carter” not only wanted to show school life but also the culture of the Black people. Most of the music or songs used were all meant and done for the Blacks: merge of pop, rhythm and blues and rap music which matched the indigent environment of Richmond, California. The subject’s that even Blacks had their own way of living in their own one place; the film’s able to show the Whites’ abilities to still discriminate the capacity of the Blacks. It pointed out the unequal relationship and division of the two different races of people common in the world. The film technique quite delivered the repulsive but real message effectively to its viewers.
To wrap up, “Coach Carter” is one movie where people would learn loads of lessons about courage, strength, motivation, determination, perseverance, teamwork and the reality of life. After I watched the film, I was inspired to achieve my dreams and I had my own negative realizations converted to optimistic ones. “Coach Carter” is a good, motivating and inspiring movie no one dares to miss.