“Finding Forrester” is the 2001 America drama that is a work of fiction.
But even a work of fiction, has facts and direction. The reason I watched the movie was because the first James Bond, Sean Connery had the lead role. I remember seeing him in the original “Dr. No” in the neighborhood movie theater when I was a youth. In fact, it was the first time I went to the movies by myself. I must have been about 8 years old.
I saw, “Finding Forrester”, the movie on TV, and watched it was also because it was about writing. Blogging is about writing stories, but the medium is the internet. On a dare, a young 16-year-old student named Jamal, sneaks into a recluse’s apartment, who is always watching them play basketball on the court outside.
Jamal steals a token of his deed, but is surprised and rushes off and leaves his backpack. Forrester drops the backpack out the window and when Jamal gets home, he notices that the recluse man has written some notes in his journal. Jamal is intrigued and returns and ask for more writings. Forrester tells him that before he can read anything he must write a 5,000- word essay as to why he must stay, the f**k out of his home.
Jamal returns later with the completed essay and they develop a relationship based on writing. Forrester helps the young writer, but tells him that he can’t take any of his writings out of the apartment and that he can’t tell anybody, who he is. Later Jamal finds out who he really is; the author of one book, that won the Pulitzer Award.
Jamal is offered an academic scholarship to a prestigious private school because of his test scores, and his scores on the basketball court at his local school. Fraction arises when one of the professors at the new school claims plagiarism because one of his writings “sounds like something he read long time ago”.
Jamal gets Forrester to finally get out in public, by taking him to Madison Square Garden, but it proves to much, so they end up in an empty Yankee Stadium. The memory of being at the ball park relaxes Forrester and he opens up about his past. Seems that the death of his family members, led to him becoming a recluse.
Forrester attends a writing contest that Jamal entered, and does a reading. The professor recognizes him right away, but the rest of the audience full of students and facility, doesn’t know who he is. As he approaches the front of the room, he announces his name and says, “That’s my picture, on the wall.” The wall contained world famous writers.
He reads the article and receives a huge applause. He then admits that the reason he showed up was because he was friends with Jamal, and the words that he just read, were Jamal’s words. He also explained that he gave Jamal permission to use some of his words to his published work.
Forrester goes back to Scotland and Jamal is just about ready to graduate from high school, when Forrester’s lawyer shows up, and tells Jamal that Forrester, has died from the cancer, that he had before he met Jamal, and that he left him the keys to his apartment and a note. The note thanks him for his friendship, which caused him to come out of his shell so he could enjoy the rest of his “brief life”. The note also gives Jamal permission to write the forward to his “second ever novel”.
One critic of the movie called it the resilience of the human spirit. Another writer wrote about Forrester’s condition and the relationship/parallels between fiction and the real life of American author J.D. Salinger. When you learn to really listen, you find good things to write about later. If you blog enough you will write your own story over time. Mine will be titled “Standing In The Shadows, Listening To The Greats”. What will be your story? If you don’t write it, who will?
Great story Earl, really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.
Wow!!! I love how sharing our own personal truths, can have such an impact! Sounds like a fantastic movie. I will be sure to watch!
Awesome post Earl, thanks for sharing.
Someone once made a remark about life imitating art, or art imitating life. Most movies start from ideas from books. If you happen to see this blog, be on the lookout for my life project; my first novel titled “Standing in the Shadows, Listening to the Greats!!!