The Blind Side
Big Home Video/Warner Brothers, Rs 599
Rating: 3 and half stars
If you see this Oscar 2009 nominated movie by John Lee Hancock in a DVD store, chances are you’ll put it back on the rack again. Let’s face it, a story about a homeless black boy who is adopted by a blondified Sandra Bullock playing a rich Southern tough Mama? On top of that it’s a football movie, er, American football movie (thus, the title of a footballing position).
But after you’re past the first hurdle — unwrapping the cover and putting the disc in — the film is a treat. Not only is it moving without the usual sentimental ooze that one associates with Oscar-nominated, Oprah-recommended dramas, but it is charming, funny and has the viewer rooting for the underdogs — in this case both 'Big Mike' Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron), who has an innate ‘protective’ talent that makes him the perfect defender in a college football team, as well as Leigh Anne Tuohys (Bullock), who makes her girlfriends at the cocktails‘n’salad club up their patronising instincts to find it cute that she’s taken up yet another ‘charity’ — but not without qualms about Leigh Anne having taken in an abandoned giant of a black boy from the neighbouring urban wasteland into a home with a teenage daughter.
At no point in the film does one get pummelled by ‘the message’ of race or class differences. Instead, what we notice full on is some superb acting — restrained performances at their best — from both Bullock and Aaron, whose face itself seems to be telling the story.
Based on a true story and adapted from Michael Lewis’ The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, the script is crisp and when the film ends on a happy note, one realises why ‘happy’ can still make good, entertaining and poignant story-telling.