Sometimes, you just need to feel like there is some good in the world, and that there is a way to help people. The Blind Side is a film which encapsulates this, despite, or possibly because of its Hollywood spin. The film is based loosely around the story of Michael Oher (played on screen by Quinton Aaron), now an NFL offensive tackle. It explains how his life became intertwined with those of the Tuohy’s, a typical Deep South family, which changed them all forever.

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The way the plot is developed is interesting. It opens with a clip explaining a key piece about American Football which (although nothing to do with the characters directly), affects their lives by opening up an avenue for Michael. This ripple effect sums up the rest of the film, as it shows that even if something doesn’t appear to affect you, this doesn’t mean you should ignore it. It is also useful for those who have no idea about how American Football works, as it gives an inside look into why Michael’s athletic ability is so important to the game.

The next clip is near the end of the actual film, leaving questions about why it is significant. The small details are also important, and help to make the film special. There’s the story of Ferdinand the Bull which, although an obvious metaphor, is still very sweet and innocent. However, as interesting as these little twists are, the plot is not overly complicated, leaving emphasis on the overall message of the film and the characters it presents.

The characters do really drive the story, and this is one of the things that makes the film so compelling. Michael is the textbook definition of a gentle giant, and constantly forces you to re-evaluate any preconceptions you might have about him. Throughout the film, he doesn’t give up and never takes anything for granted. His kindness and empathy, despite his past, are what make his struggles heartbreaking and his wins victorious.

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Leigh-Ann (Sandra Bullock) is the other main character and we see a lot from her point of view as well. She definitely knows how to speak her mind and get what she wants from life. Being presented with someone who doesn’t have the same chances as her and her family is a struggle to comprehend at first. However, this only compels her to help more and stand-up for what she believes is right, which is inspiring to see. Some characters are more developed than others, and some appear more stereotyped, but it is a Hollywood produced film and some of the stereotypes do serve a purpose.

The fact that some of the events really happened makes the film more inspiring, as it shows that there is hope and can be real change if enough people take notice and action.

Abigail Houseman

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