‘I Am Sam’- Assessment
Sam is the main character in ‘I Am Sam’. He faces a number of issues throughout the movie, but the main hardship is to gain custody of his daughter. Sam’s role is a mentally retarded male, with a mental capacity of a seven year old. Sam’s daughter, Lucy, is seven and her teachers fear that Sam’s aptitude is holding her back because she does not want to be smarter than her father. Lucy loves Sam very much, however she knows he was not the average father, as she told her best friend that she was adopted. Lucy is taken away from Sam by the authorities and is only given visitational rights for a couple of hours each week while under supervision. Sam desperately seeks to gain back custody of Lucy. The approach Sam uses to muddle through this adversity, is trying to find a lawyer who can represent him in court. Rita Harrison Williams is a top-notch lawyer and informs Sam he can’t afford her. As a result, Rita’s work colleagues assume she would never do Pro Bono because she is too good for that, however to Sam’s advantage, Rita decides to prove them wrong and takes Sam’s case on Pro Bono. This is great for Sam because he gets a top-quality lawyer to represent him in court for free, this illustrates Sam would have never been able to afford a lawyer in the first place, as Sam is aware of this himself, saying “Yeah, because I make $8.00 an hour at Starbucks. Per hour. It’s an hourly rate.” To a large extent, I think this tactic had benefited Sam as he had an excellent lawyer, which gave him a better chance to have some rights to Lucy. Rita knows Sam’s chances are slim for getting full custody of Lucy but in the end, with all characters coming to an agreement, Sam gets joint custody of Lucy with her adoptive parents which was of crucial importance both to the relationship between father and daughter and most importantly Lucy having a well balanced upbringing and not being held back intellectually, emotionally or financially. Without Rita, Sam would...
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