I Am Sam is a good drama created to try to inspire and induce change in its audience. This movie exhibits fatherly love eliciting human compassion to a love that is sustaining an indestructible spirit. This movie illustrates different-looking people and the situations they encounter in their modern day struggles we can all adapt and apply in our daily lives. Even though people usually view dramas as sad stories aimed to make us cry, the true goal of such movies does not usually finish when tears start flooding the audience’s eyes. Rather, it is something with a much deeper sense: to touch people’s lives enough for them to empathize with the characters. Ultimately, the producers of the movie are aimed at trying to make the audience better persons in their own little way by making them address sympathy concerns for certain individuals. This movie, for one, appeals to viewers that love is everything we humans need. In the case of Sam, it is sympathetic love, which he needs for people to see him in a different light—that handicapped persons like him are capable of love despite or precisely because of their imperfection. This movie is truly gives justice to those who are sympathetic of differently-abled people because good actors were chosen to play the different characters in the movie, a condition necessary for incredulous audience to be persuaded that while others may be different for their (lack of) intelligence, they deserve recognition for their capacity to love. These actors gave their respective roles the justice needed to bring the message across to the audience without that grim and determined effort. The three main actors embodied the characters by actually “being” and not just acting intertwined lives amid a non-empathic society. Sean Penn was luminous as Sam Dawson, the father whose imbecility causes him to lose custody of his daughter but proves the court that he can assume parental responsibility. For her part, Dakota Fanning was convincing as Lucy Dawson, the daughter who would be given to another family because her father, according to the court, is unfit to take care of her. Finally, Michelle Pfeiffer was brilliant as Rita Harrison, the hard-hitting lawyer of Sam with a divided family and a marriage on the rocks. It is amazing how each of them were able to make their respective characters become them during the film. But the best thing about this story is its fountainhead of life-altering lessons, most important of which is our necessity to feed on love. It shows us how seemingly inutile people like Sam encounter a lot of difficulties caused by our own judgments and stereotypes, without realizing that like anyone of us, he is capable of giving and receiving love. In the movie, Sam was separated from his 7-year-old daughter because discriminative people thought that differently-abled families are doomed to fail. While this is sometimes true, there are still some exceptions that prove us wrong, as is manifested in the movie. For example, Although Sam has an IQ only as high as that of his daughter, this did not stop him from loving her daughter wholeheartedly. Nothing stopped him from becoming the best father he can be. He strove to be the best—from earning from a more compensatory job to providing a bigger home for Lucy to sending his daughter to a better school—in order to provide everything that the court insists in order to get her daughter back. He kept on pushing the limits of his own self and his own approximations. As a result, he was able to show and convince his unsympathetic community of his capability as a loving father, something people around his social sphere are skeptical about only because his insufficient intellect does not warrant it. At the end of this film, the movie has completed its attempt to inspire sympathetic love in its viewers by showing that they only need a little care to understand that even handicaps can love like the rest of humankind. The question “Is love really all that matters?” can now be answered in relation to the situations presented in the movie. In the case of Sam, we can say that love is all that one needs to become a good parent. If the court became cognizant (that is, sympathetic, a characteristic rarely displayed by an impersonal institution such as the judiciary) of Sam’s potential for parental love, then it would discover that indeed, this father is capable of loving his daughter, however idiotic he may be. It is Sam’s society’s love that shall serve as his driving force for his fatherly love to reach its full momentum by winning custody of Lucy. I Am Sam is, indeed, a good drama movie not only because of its artistic and technical aspects but also because it succeeded in carrying across the inspirational message about an ever-loving father who is willing to beat himself to the extreme to keep his daughter to his side. This movie teaches us a lot about being human through compassion for a father and about the true meaning of love: intense, catalytic, sacrificing.
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