A Titan-ic Struggle

Well-defined characters and a touchingly true story make this film one to watch.

Brought to you by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films, "Remember The Titans" is an essentially human story of respect, sacrifice and triumph.

In a town torn apart by hate and violence, two schools are forced to integrate - one an all-black school, and the other an all-white institution. It is also a town where football is a passion...so, when a black man is appointed head coach of the football team (thereby losing the very popular white coach his job), there is bound to be trouble. The town in question is Alexandria in Virginia, and the team is the Titans of T.C. Williams High.

"Remember The Titans" is a true story of two coaches who together manage to hone a bunch of unfocussed youngsters seething in raw talent into a killer combination drenched in team spirit. Denzel Washington plays the part of Herman Boone, the new black coach, and Will Patton plays Bill Yoast, the demoted white coach. Boone is the tough disciplinarian determined to create a team who will play for each other irrespective of colour, while Yoast is subtler in his methods. The process starts at camp and is tested when they return home. The film traces the slow, albeit inevitable, path of integration with the hiccups in between.

Director Boaz Yakin has done a commendable job. The movie flows well and doesn’t give the audience any opportunity to lose interest. Though the filming was not done in Alexandria, there seem to have been no obvious compromises. The scripting is excellent, and complete with snatches of acerbic wit. The characters are well defined and their evolution throughout the film is extremely well handled.

The acting is believable. Both Oscar-winner Denzel Washington (of "Malcolm X" and "Glory" fame) and the equally popular Will Patton fit into their roles with consummate ease. Also impressive was Wood Harris and Ryan Hurst. Watch out for nine-year-old Hayden Panettiere as the intense little Sheryl Yoast. The music score is peppy and on a personal note, my lack of knowledge and interest in American football did not stop me from enjoying the movie. A must see!

This article was first published on 07 Feb 2001.