Finding Forrester

May 1, 2013
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Finding Forrester
What is the biggest risk you have ever taken? Well in the movie Finding Forrester directed by Gus Van Sant, released by Columbia Pictures in 2000 the character Jamal Wallace learns how to take them. He tries to help his friend William Forester who is a famous author, face his fears. Both characters end up taking risks throughout the movie.

While watching this movie Finding Forrester I noticed that Jamal was a good kid who hangs around with his friends in the Bronx and wrote in his spare time. He has a passion for basketball and writing. He plays outside at this dark and rough basketball court with many pigeons in the street. He usually plays outside with his friends but there is one problem. There is a scary guy that lives in the apartment across from the basketball court. Everyone thinks that he is some killer that never leaves his apartment, but he is just a simple man named William Forrester. This leads to Jamal’s friends daring him to go and see what’s in Williams’s apartment. So Jamal takes a risk, goes up and sneaks into his apartment. To Jamal the apartment was dark and gray. Then William Forrester comes out and scares Jamal. He goes running but not thinking he leaves his backpack with all of the notebooks that he writes in. Mr. Forester looks in his bags and reads his notebook and oddly writes comments on them. He soon gives Jamal back his backpack and this is the start of a wonderful friendship.
A few days after, while Jamal is in school he and his mother are given the opportunity of a life time which is another risk for Jamal. A director of a private school in Manhattan asks if Jamal would like to attend their school because of his outstanding test scores. He takes the deal and attends this school. He soon gets his notebooks back and notices all of the writing that William has done.
Meanwhile he is going over to Mr. Forrester’s house everyday so that he can help Jamal become a better writer and they also become better friends. As time passes by at Jamal’s new school he is having a writing competition and takes a risk and enters. Jamal went to William’s house to see if he could help him write this and make it the best writing piece he has ever done so he can show that he has not just come to this school for basketball, he came for writing.
Jamal submits his writing and his teacher Mr. Crawford thought that his paper was amazing and that it was unusual for a kid from the Bronx to be writing that good. So he had another English professor read it and he also said it was very good. Then Mr. Crawford notices that Jamal uses one of Mr. Forrester’s titles and in his eyes that is plagiarism. Crawford had already been skeptical about Jamal’s work and this is when he took action. He set up a meeting to look at Jamal’s work. The board of the school asked him if he had permission to use William’s title but Jamal refused to answer. The reason that Jamal didn’t answer is because he is being a good friend to William. William is a famous writer that only wrote one story and then vanished. Jamal is the only friend that William had and William didn’t want anyone to know. So when Jamal refuses to give up William’s existence, he risked his career for writing ever again.
So his work was pulled from the competition and he could have been released from his scholarship but, the school would never do that because they only invited Jamal because of his basketball skills and the school needed a star player for their school to show off.
In the end Jamal ends up making the biggest decision of his life. When he is at the state tournament he had to take the last two shots to win the game for the school. As he takes each shot , the look on his face was worried. He looks at the hoop and it is quiet as a class room of reading children. He shoots the first one and misses, the crowd sighs and then he looks around, shoots the second and misses again. Everyone in that gym was so disappointed because he missed but no one knew that he missed them on purpose. He missed them on purpose because he is trying to prove a point to everyone that brought him there for basketball. He wants to show those people that he can also be there for academic reasons. When Jamal returns to school no one wants to talk to him and everyone gives him a stern stare because he lost the game. It so happens that the day he got back from the game is the day of the writing competition. When one of Jamal’s classmates is reading, the famous William Forrester walks into the classroom. He goes to the front and reads a very well-written inspirational paper. At the end of reading this paper he gets a standing ovation from the whole room but what they don’t know is that Jamal wrote that piece. When that is revealed he gets a standing ovation too. The reason for William coming to school is because Jamal took a risk for him so now he has to return the favor. William didn’t want to be revealed because he was afraid that people wouldn’t like him because he stopped writing. He finally realized that he has a true friend which is Jamal. Jamal ends up staying at school because he writes an inspirational paper that awards him with the respect of all his classmates.
In my opinion I give this movie 3 out of 4 stars. I thought that it is a great movie. It inspired me to write more and help those that are in need of help. The soundtrack during the movie was placed in great scenes and gave the movie an inspiring feeling and makes you want to keep watching. During the scene at the end when Mr. Forrester leaves the school from telling everyone what great of a writer Jamal was, the music was very jazzy and upbeat and it ended with a happy sunny day. In other scenes it was sad and slow jazz music which makes you want to help the characters that have a problem. I would really suggest this movie to anyone looking for an inspirational and heartfelt film, and it gives the lesson that it is always okay to help someone in need even of you are taking a risk.

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