Radio-Movie Review of Mental Disabled Individual

Movie Review 11-1-2012 “Radio” The movie I picked to review was one I had not seen before, “Radio” starring Cuba Gooding Jr and Ed Harris. It is based on a true story of James Robert “Radio” Kennedy and tells the story of how a man who is mentally retarded becomes friends with the high school football coach. The coach befriends Radio after some of his players have bullied and hurt him. The movie opens with Radio pushing his cart through the street and shows a woman moving her child away from him, a man staring at him, and another man who almost runs him over calling him a “moron. I liked that they started this way to establish what he goes through on a daily basis. Radio is constantly looking down allowing the viewer to realize that he has some sort of disability. Other times throughout the movie members of the town can be seen starring and laughing at Radio. The coach ignores their behaviors and continues his friendship with Radio despite what others think. The film never establishes the exact cause of his disability but when Coach asks his mother what was wrong with him, she says the doctor just says “he is a little slower than most. As the coach got to know him, he learned that he loved radios, hence his nickname “Radio”. The coach tries to bring Radio into the team as an assistant. The school didn’t allow him to travel on the bus for the “safety” of the students. As the movie continues some of the townspeople begin to accept Radio while others are very irritated that he is a part of the football program. Coach always supports Radio and teaches him many things throughout their friendship. The coach’s family also comes to appreciate Radio and supports the friendship of the two men.
The things that impacted me about the movie are the fact that it is based on a true-life story. The filmmakers did a good job of being realistic in the fact that not everyone is going to support a mentally challenged individual all of the sudden being a part of a football team. This is definitely the case. In my ideal world people with disabilities would not be bullied but would be accepted. This isn’t the case and the movie shows us this. Reality is that not everyone is comfortable with individuals with disabilities.
One thing that bothered me about the movie was the look that Radio was given. He has a big front tooth and a chipped tooth. I believe it was at the end of the movie that in the credits you get to see a picture of the real Radio. He does not have perfect teeth just as the character didn’t in the movie. However, the movie cover picture doesn’t have the actor with messed up teeth. To me this shows that they aren’t completely portraying the character the way they should. They are still out to sell their movie and “pretty” probably sells better than reality sometimes.

There were times in the movie that I was angry with some of the people in the town. More than this though, there were times that I was proud of the coach. I was proud of those that came together to make sure Radio had a good Christmas after his mother had passed away. I was mostly proud of Radio for in return giving the presents that he had received to individuals that had been mean to him in the past. The movie is an inspiring one! There are good people in the world.

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