Radio, Film analysis
The dramatic and uplifting movie “Radio” starring Cuba Gooding JR. and Ed Harris, is based on the true life story of James Robert Kennedy, a k a Radio; a mentally retarded young African-American who spends his days pushing a shopping cart around the streets of Anderson, a small South Carolina town, collecting junk and old radios. The movie starts with the heartbreaking scene of Radio pushing his cart around the town, in his own little world; people are ignoring him, and a lady pulls her daughter out of the way, running towards the opposite sidewalk. Every day Radio walks by the school, watching the football team training. While lingering by the fence of the high school football field one afternoon, the boy catches the eye of the team's coach, Harold Jones, a well respected coach and teacher, who spends his long days preparing his team for each big game. When the teams’ ball went over the fence, Radio decides to keep it, adding it to his collection of junk. The next day Jones finds his players mistreating the boy - they tied him up with medical tape and threw him in the equipment shed – so he goes out of his way to give them an appropriate punishment. Then, unsatisfied that he's done all he can, the coach invites the boy to help out with the team. Radio, who says little during his first meetings with the coach, is given the odd nickname by Jones and his assistant after they notice how fascinated he was about the radio in the office. Soon, Radio becomes the unofficial mascot of both the football and basketball teams. He begins regularly helping out on and off the field folding towels, fetching water and imitating the coaches. As time passes, Radio and Coach Jones grow extremely close. When the coach gets to know Radio's mother, he learns about the hardships of their life; she's overworked and her husband passed away some years ago. She lovingly describes Radio “the same as everybody else, just a little slower than most”. Radio blossoms...
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