Story based on true events written by the person itself, Antwone Fisher played by Derek Luke is a man struggling with the boy he had been guarding inside. Born in a correctional facility and never to be claimed, he goes through hell at his foster home. Little we know about Antwone as we meet him amongst his beating up of a fellow navy man over nothing. Properly punished, he is asked to meet the Navy psychiatrist to have a word about his anger issues. Adamant as always on accepting the wounds of emotion, he rebels against Dr. Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington). After regular tussle, Fisher speaks up and slits a light. Davenport quite good at his job leaves Fisher as a job after three sessions. Fisher comes back to rip apart leaving stranded in the middle of something he does not know but wants to.
We have seen “Good Will Hunting” and “Finding Forrester” (both directed by Gus Van Sant) which stands to be on the mind while watching the film. The mentoring schemes and the discovery on both the sides are been seen, delightfully if I may add. The nicety and the tinge of actual reality is seen when Fisher seeks out for help from Davenport. As Davenport assists him to be trusted and peeks through the horrible past, Fisher needs guidance. For first time in his life, he has some one to look up and to trust upon. He is shy but being in the Navy, the unwritten rule is to shed off the smoothness and be tough. Opening up under those circumstances may be marked as a sign of incompetence and being fragile but it is the internal barrier being put upon by the people on themselves is the real reason. For Fisher though, the wounds are not from the Navy but from his old life. This would make him bottle up his feelings even more stressful and unable to vent out, he tempers out.
Making his directorial debut, Denzel Washigton has to have got an honest screenplay from Fisher. Even though it has its fair share of fiction as Fisher has disclosed, the words are real, the grooming caressing Fisher needed at that time were provided by many people who are put together in Davenport and his lady love Cheryl (Joy Bryant). The film has only one sub plot which is handled with subtle finesse. The unknown void between Davenport and his wife Berta (Salli Richardson) happens in silence that the awkwardness spreads across the viewers.
Any one’s problem is gargantuan into their minds of chaos and hopelessness. And Fisher’s were clearly huge one in any one’s mind. In fact the story knives up the judgment of comparing the problems and the priority of solving it. Often we console or brush off our emotional instabilities thinking about the more detrimental problems other people have in this world of uncertainties. The film while shamefully pointed the opinioned view I had towards about films of certain nature, it opens up the real issues any one might have and the attention it might need more than usual.
The charm of the dialogues and the energy it shifts has those lighter moments and the more disturbing emotional distress it carries on immediately. But with much narrative matching close to the reality, the final family get together seems a little too animated. It might have happened but certainly has the over abundance of sweetness not blending in with the actual portrait of the film. For a little time, we leave the land created perfectly by Washington to another land sometimes demanded by unforeseen force in the form of studio or expected fan twisting the screenplay. It stutters but gains back its control when Fisher meets Davenport in the final scene. It is a good story of a struggled young man in finding forgiveness and hope of holding onto new relationships. And you certainly need not be a scientist or a prodigy to be having those problems.