- BOTTOM LINE
- Passable Sports Drama
What is the Story about?
Terron Forte (Michael Rainey Jr) is a prodigious child in Basketball. Coach Gains (Josh Charles) spots the talent and offers him to take higher places as a sportsman and also help in the completion of education looking at Terron’s family condition. However, all is not well for Terron as he steps into unchartered territory and discovers harshness of reality in the world of the sport that he loves so much, and is being run as a business.
Michael Rainey Jr is adequate in the role of Terron Forte. The sports segments are well done, but the emotional part and other dynamic requiring the non-sportsmanship skills related to drama mostly falls flat.
The character requires a helplessness kind of suppressed expression that is borne out of internal angst and frustration. The emotion doesn’t realise fully. We only get a few glimpses, and that’s it. The additional complexity given to the character further makes it hard for Michael Rainey Jr.
Direction By Ryan Koo?
Amateur is a sports drama that is made a dime a dozen. What separates it initially is the different perspective of the dealing between a coach and young kid(s) with talent. Here the kid is all about natural ability and his love for the sport rather than money and fame it gives. The other side is the coach who is after money by creating brands out of these talents using the “brand-value” of the brands. There is also a nice parallel track running with the talented kid’s father who is also a sports person and got the wrong side of the system.
Basically, the whole set up in interesting, it offers a different perspective to the way sports are used to exploit youngsters. The conflict feels enticing, and the way the movie is taken to that competitive world and initial encounters keep us hooked.
However, the final half an hour leaves a lot to be desired. Some key moments and decisions give a feeling of amateurish in the way they are handled even though there is a lot of scope for engaging drama in it. The way everything ends takes Amateur into the fantasy realm.
Overall, the setup and initial two acts make Amateur a decent watch. But, given the scope it has, one definitely feels underwhelmed and misses a genuine emotional connection.
Sharon Leal and Brian J White as parents of Terron are reasonably good. They have a few shining moments individually where they deliver the needed to generate emotion. Josh Charles is the star of the show though. He comes with swag and style, but ultimately a template sort of performance. It is easily identifiable and connects, and that works out for a project like Amateur. With little more effort, the act could have gone a step up and further helped the narrative.
Music and other departments?
The music by BC Smith is alright. There is nothing particularly memorable, but it is used well to create an adrenaline pumping rush effect during the sports sequences. It is all done subtly though. The cinematography is neat. The editing is crisp and keeps the flow smooth. The writing could have been better for sure.
Fizzles Out In The End
Did I enjoy it?
Yes in parts
Will you recommend it?
Yes but with little reservations.
Amateur Review by Siddartha Toleti