My Review on Netflix Amateur (2018)
Terran Forte (Michael Rainey Jr.) is an 8th grade student with exceptional basketball skills. His story is not unlike many other young men his age with pressure from home, school and on the court...the court of life that is. Among other things Terran has an issue reading numbers, innumeracy is what some may call it. This makes it difficult to function on the court where plays are called using numbers and the count down on the shot clock trips him up. The same way Terran maneuvers in life, he has figured out a way to make things work for him in basketball.
"Amateur" (2018) is a good synopsis about how a father failed in his ways and wants his son to be better. Terran's father Vince (Brian White) wants him to be better man and make better decisions in life; shine as bright as he can for as long as he can, at all costs. His mother (Sharon Leal) is supportive in his learning deficit and all other endeavors. Director Ryan Koo balances this dynamic out quite well between father, mother and son and we get to see where the parents did their part in helping make Terran a better young man at a young age.
Michael Rainey Jr. and Josh Charles, "Amateur" (2018)
The writing is really good here. Ryan Koo gives a simple yet effective screenplay of a young man coming into has own, building his own confidence and making decisions that are best for him. Terran is exposed to the world of tough coaches who bend the rules and the truth to get what they want. He sees boosters, tougher players and the ugly politics of the sports industry, all between the ages of 13-14. The film really shows how sports entertainment is valued much more than education. Terran follows the advice and guidance of his father and Coach Gaines (Josh Charles) to ultimately find a plan that works in his favor. Terran, his family and coach end up winning in the end.
The strength of a story like this is we get to see the positive outcome of this young man's choices. He could have responded differently but found a plan and stuck with it. We just don't get enough quality films that mean this much. I loved the fact that "Amateur" showed how Terran went from being an amateur symbolically to being a professional in his choices. We can all learn from a film like this in that, it's not the hand your dealt, it's how you play the hand. Work with what you've got and be the best YOU, that you can be.
I recommend this film for how true it feels. It is a great film for parents and their sons. Let's toast to honesty and integrity from "Amateur" in an industry that seems to be more out to entertain for profit than to educate.