Gruwells Freedom Writers
Through writing, both Gruwell and her students work through one of the most tumultuous times of racial tension in the United States since the 1960s (Gruwell).
In other words, the movie is indulging in a little hard-knock overkill. Every one of these 14-year-old has been shot at? For a film that preaches that teachers should not talk down to their students, "Freedom Writers" kind of talks down a little to its audience (Tyler).
At first, Erin suffers setbacks. The students ignore her and are unruly. Most stop coming to class. And all of them whine that she does not know anything about their lives, she cannot understand them and she’s fooling herself if she thinks she can teach them. But Erin is creative in her ways of reaching out to them. What is more, she believes in them in a way that no one else in their lives ever has. The other teachers think little of them, as exemplified by a school administrator played by Imelda Staunton in a marvelously self-righteous and pinched performance (Tyler).
If only writer-director Richard LaGravenese knew when to end his film. Or, more to the point, if only he knew how to distinguish the important from the trivial. The film drags every now and then because it keeps showing us scenes that, in the long run, do not add much to the overall story. For a while, the movie suddenly seems to be about the Holocaust, which seems a bit odd. But remember, it is based on a true story, so the Holocaust-related scenes really will help her gain the students’ interest and teach them to achieve far beyond the expectations of society.
"Freedom Writers" is a feel-good movie, with lots of laughter and plenty of moments for the audience to go happily out of the theaters. It sets up a situation that may be overstated in its hopelessness, but then it gives us hope. And the cause for hope is genuine, because, as we said, the story is true.
Gruwell, E. “Freedom Writers”. New York: Broadway Books, 1999.
LaGravenese, Richard. “Freedom Writers”. Paramount Pictures, 2007
Tyler, Josh. "Freedom Writers." CinemaBlend. Cinema Blend LLC, 2010.
Sept 2010. <.http://www.cinemablend.com/reviews/Freedom-Writers-2024.html>..