Stand and Deliver

Ramon Menendez’s 1982 film Stand and Deliver is one of pure inspiration.  The movie’s setting is taken place in 1982 at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, California.  Lou Diamond Phillips plays Angel Guzman, a young and tough gang member who doesn’t feel too cool for school.  Carmen Argenziano plays Mr. Molina, the High School’s principal.  And finally Edward James Olmos stars as the new hot shot math teacher Mr. Escalante, whom they refer to simply as “Kimo.”

Mr. Escalante comes in as a person who quit a steady job for a low level teaching position at Garfield High.  His expectations were to teach students math, to make a change and to make a real difference.  When he first steps into the class and sees the basic Mathematics equations, he is turned away by the sight.  He knows these kids could do better and wanted to give them a real math education.  As the teacher and the students progress into their senior year, he gives them an option of taking summer school to get ready for the AP Calculus exam in the spring of their senior year.  It’s a rough time for each of them, but they soon learn the Calculus needed for the test. 

The film gradually shows the different parts of Eastern Los Angeles.  It depicts the lives of the students and their families.  It also shows more of the ethnic backgrounds each student come’s from.  It goes indepth to the lives of a few of the students inparticular.  One being Angel Guzman who is a gang member that sees his education as a very wise thing to take serious.  The other is the lives of two of the Hispanic students and what they want to do in life and what is expected of them. 

The acting was clean cut from top to bottom.  As simple a movie as it was, the acting was superb.  I don’t think anyone could’ve asked for anything more or anything less.  The devotion from Edward Olmos’ character was struly magica.  You normally do not see this type of teaching.  SOme teachers are not passionate about their work.  They go to teach and that’s it.  The same monotonous routine day to day.  But not him, not Mr. Escalante.  He shows his students there is more to math than some “boring” numbers and equations.

In my own personal opinion, I enjoyed the movie.  I’ve seen movies related to this in the way of drama but the levels of passion and excitement exceed the others.  I am overjoyed that I seen this movie and I feel lucky that I had a chance to watch it.  I would most definitely recommend this movie toa nyone.  It’s worth the watch.

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