Finding Forrester movie cast: Sean Connery, Rob Brown, Anna Paquin, F Murray Abraham
Finding Forrester movie director: Gus Van Sant
Finding Forrester movie rating: 4 stars
As someone who deals with words for a living, I am drawn to films and books that specifically tackle the subject of writing. There have been many films on the aforementioned topic, but there is one that I distinctly remember. It’s the one movie that I often return to when I feel uninspired — Gus Van Sant’s Finding Forrester.
Writing appears to be a selfish and lonely job. You sit at your desk, close off yourself from the rest of the world and put pen to paper as if your very life depends on it. No time for socialising because you are either busy waiting for the muse to gently nudge you in the right direction or you are just typing away meaningless crap which you cannot make any sense of. Gus Van Sant’s (of Good Will Hunting and Milk fame) 2000 film discusses all of the above and more in the most engaging fashion.
“Why is it that the words that we write for ourselves are much better than the words we write for others?” is one of the first lessons that Hollywood legend Sean Connery’s character William Forrester gives to Rob Brown’s Jamal Wallace in the film. And it’s one advice that each one of us who love, write and swallow letters would do well to remember. Do not please anyone, write with honesty and the rest will follow. The entire movie is bursting with such nuggets of wisdom. While this point may well be one of the primary draws of watching Finding Forrester, it’s not the only one.
What do you seek when you buy a ticket, or more lately, stream a film? Entertainment, escapism, happiness and a sense of fulfillment. And brownie points if the film also manages to move and inspire you. The Gus Van Sant directorial ticks all these boxes.
The movie’s narrative revolves around a recluse writer named William Forrester (Sean Connery), who, in order to not deal with the world, prefers to be locked up inside his apartment. In comes Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown), threatening to upset Forrester’s scheme of things with his basketball and his aspirations for writing. How they form an unlikely bond and does that relationship survive the test of time forms the crux of the story.
The chemistry between Connery and Brown is lovely, making you root for their blossoming friendship. Credit goes to Mike Rick who wrote the screenplay of the movie, for bringing out the nuances of storytelling and human relationship alive with the might of his pen. Gus Van Sant’s direction takes us through the highs and lows of society, challenges prejudice subtly and brings out the best in his actors. What more can a moviebuff ask for?
All the sequences featuring Forrester and Wallace are entertaining and stirring at the same time. An achievement. One scene, in particular, stands out where Forrester gives ‘romantic’ advice to his young student, reminiscent of the 1992 Al Pacino movie Scent of a Woman, albeit less dramatic, but just as effective.
So does Finding Forrester stand the test of time? And will it, you ask? Kind of redundant, those questions, don’t you think? Especially after having written paragraphs of praise on the same. You can catch the movie on Hotstar. And you should, as soon as possible.