Volume 94, Issue 19
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Titans more than a football movie
Photo by Tracy Bennett
YOU MEAN YOU KNEW ABOUT THE WARM PILE OF POOCH POOP UNDERNEATH ME? Denzel Washington teaches his team to get down and dirty on the 50 yeard line in Remember the Titans
Remember the Titans
Starring: Denzel Washington, Will Paton
Directed By: Boaz Yakin
By Jeff Warren
At face value, Remember the Titans is a movie about football. Underneath, however, the story is not so black and white.
Behind the passes, catches and bone-crunching tackles, lies the ugly face of racism and segregation. While one man and his football team fight to be perfect on the field, they also hope to create harmony in their community off the field.
Based on a true story, Remember the Titans is set against the backdrop of racially torn Virginia in 1971. Two football coaches one black and one white come head to head when the local school board is forced to integrate black students into the all-white T.C. Williams High School.
Because of this, the T.C. Williams football team and the Virginia community are torn in two. Working together, coaches Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) and Bill Yoast (Will Patton) must overcome every manifestation of prejudice when putting together a football team that will rise to the occasion and show the state of Virginia the meaning of teamwork.
Remember the Titans is almost two movies in one part football action and part racial drama. It is easy to mistake the film for being only about the game of football. After all, it has all the right elements: losers and heroes, failure and triumph. The message of the film is about rising to the occasion and coming out on top. And what could better invoke such feelings than American highschool football?
This film is successful because the game of high school football actually acts as a distraction. The town gets so caught up with the team's success that they forget the team is coached by a black man. For coach Boone, the game of football is about teamwork and lessons. The game of football is larger than life.
Through a dynamic company of young, black and white boys, the game slowly draws everyone's attention away from hatred and bigotry. As usual, Washington is superb and the supporting cast of mostly unknown actors collectively strong.
On the whole, Remember the Titans makes you laugh, cry, hold your breath and stand up and cheer. The movie is exciting and in your face at one moment and heart warming and nostalgic the next. The characters are lovable and each one grows throughout the film, learning valuable lessons along the way.
While tackling such a moral issue as racism however, the movie tries too hard to point out every single important moment. Every shake of the hand is treated like Moses parting the Red Sea. By turning down the dramatics a little, the film could go from shoving the story down the audiences, throat to letting them taste a beautiful moment in history.
In the end, the message hits home. As both a film about football and racism, Remember the Titans is extremely powerful.
Copyright © The Gazette 2000