The leading roles of Radio and Coach Jones could not have been casted more perfectly. Co-stars Gooding and Harris were brilliant. They made the film come to life on screen. They portrayed the relationship of more than just a teacher and student, but a father and son. I will admit, at a first glance it seemed as though Jones just took him on as a charity case to boost his ego, but once you watch, you will be put to shame for ever even thinking that. While watching, I felt as though I was part of the movie, which does not happen often. It made me think of what I would have done, especially at a time like that, when people did not want to stand up for anyone who was different. You really have to hand it to Margery Simkin for casting these two unbelievably, talented men.
Not just was the acting incredible, the musical score also had quite the significant role on this film. Whether it was the steady, pounding beat in the background or the choice of radio station Gooding would listen too, really helped turn the story into a movie for the audience. At certain points, you cannot help but get goosebumps due to the scene and choice of music done by James Horner.
The movie had a slow start. The reason for this, is that film director, Michael Tollin, wanted to highlight the development of the character, Radio. He wanted to show viewers what Radio's life was like and how the help of Coach Jones truly affected him. Radio started out not talking at all, but all because of Coach Jones, he was able to open up and interact with other people without feeling afraid.
What makes this movie so outstanding is that it was based on a true story. The fact that Radio and Coach Jones were not just characters in a movie, but are real people with actual lives, is what makes the film come to life.
This movie also makes you really think about your morals, which is a good change of pace compared to all of the other movies that involve sex and drugs nowadays. It shows how much our world has changed since the time period that this movie took place. Now everyone has opportunities, and just because someone might be a little different from you, does not give you the right to belittle them. Radio will forever be a timeless film, that will always be relatable.
"But the truth is, we're not the ones that've been teaching Radio, Radio's the one that's been teaching us." All wrapped up into one line is essentially the main idea of the entire film. A large portion of air time is focused on the love and acceptance of others and how that eventually, positively affects the outsider (Radio), as well as the other individuals involved (the football team and community as a whole). Based on a true story, this film contains a life message we all would benefit from watching. Radio, directed by Michael Tollin, is a light, heart-warming, and inspirational film, perfect for the whole family.
Coach Jones (Ed Harris), the head football, is a character whom takes on an immensely crucial role in the film. He inspires his community and the audience to show compassion and love, especially to those that are different from the rest. Coach Jones took Radio (Cuba Gooding Jr.) under his wing giving a previously purposeless man, a voice in his community. Throughout Radio, the audience is a witness to the passion and emotion Coach expresses. By one facial expression the audience can feel the sense of pride, admiration, worry, etc. that the character was feeling at that moment. Ed Harris has an inspirational way of speaking and communicating, which further moves the audience, and brings to the forefront the underlying theme.
Radio's character was portrayed with the most likeable qualities, whom the audience fell in love with instantly. This mentally-challenged man embodied such a na´ve, childlike behavior, which was refreshing to see. Radio was amazed by even the smallest things in life such as, riding in a shopping cart or watching a football game. Cuba Gooding Jr. did an outstanding job of showing this innocence by the sauntering way he walked or awed facial expressions. He also had a comedic side to him which added a light quality to the film. At one point in the film when trying to figure out what wear, Radio called Coach Jones. While holding a pair of pants up to the phone he says, "How 'bout this one?", as if they could be seen through the receiver. Radio is a character that changes people. He is a big-hearted, innocent man that goes through life with nothing but joy, and sets a positive mood making the audience want the love selflessly as he does.
The overall plot and theme of Radio is moving and inspirational. It shows the struggle, perseverance, and victory of someone fighting for an underappreciated, misunderstood, man. Coach Jones is working to accomplish something morally right, in a community that is filled with judgement and misled priorities. It hits home at the end, when clips of the real Radio are shown. This adds a lot of depth to the story, allowing the audience to make a real life connection. As a member of the audience you feel a rollercoaster of emotion. The film is filled with a generous mix of comedy and drama, keeping you intrigued until the credits roll through at the very end. Coach Jones and Radio not only teach their community the value of selfless love and compassion, but are able to teach the audience as well. This film is a must-see for the whole family not only because of the likable, inspirational characters, but also because of the important message it conveys to the audience; to love selflessly and to do what is morally right, even in the face of adversity. Radio is a film that has the ability to change people. Don't we all need a little positive change in our daily lives?