Remember the Titans is the story of a high school football team in the 70’s as the black schools and the white schools are integrated. But Remember the Titans is not a movie about football, though it does contain many epic games. Nor is remember the Titans a story about Racism, though it does deal maturely and realistically with the racial issues students and adults were forced to face in the 70’s. Rather, Remember the Titans is about people doing the right thing. Remember the Titans is about heart. Remember the Titans is about the human spirit. And most of all Remember the Titans is about friendship.
In a year of emotionally empty films, pointless overdone special effects, and mindless poorly written scripts, Remember the Titans is a shockingly intelligent, emotional movie. Noticeably absent is the excess overdone glitter and glam so prevalent in big release films, also missing is the Walt Disney tendency to tone down films and muddy their message to make their content more “user friendly.” Yes, Remember the Titans is a PG movie, but it deals with rated R issues in a way that deeply involves the viewer.
Repeatedly during the Hobbit’s viewing did he find himself clapping and cheering with the audience as the Titans overcame another hurdle in their quest for victory, whether that be themselves, or the outside world. Time and again, the Hobbit found himself on the verge of tears as the team suffered heartache, loss, disappointment, and hatred. Only to cheer again as the Titans are strengthened by their own burgeoning friendships with each other.
Denzel Washington is spectacular. Rarely have I ever seen an actor that so consistently turns in a good performance. But surprisingly it is Will Patton, who plays Washington’s white assistant coach Atley Jackson who really steals the film. Atley Jackson is a humble man, someone not used to going with the flow, someone who tries to make everyone happy, who seeks the path of least resistance. But for the first time in his life, he is forced to make a stand. Will he stand up for what is right, or will he take the easy path, which leads to personal glory?
Against all odds, the Titans succeed. Even though they are separated by the color of their skin, with the help of their remarkable coaches, they see past that, to come together, and bond together to face a world that is totally against them.