Stand and Deliver – Movie Review

By Barath S. (L&T RBG)

Stand and Deliver is a 1988 movie based on the true story of an inspiring math teacher, Jaime Escalante, in a struggling inner-city Los Angeles high school, who dedicates his time and efforts to change poor, rebellious and rude students to be achievers. While the other teachers have already dismissed these students as failures, this movie shows how Escalate was able to compel his students to ‘stand and deliver’ as he was determined to.

Escalante was a teacher who believed that every student could learn if given the right motivation. Through his hard work and tireless dedication, he helps the students to live up to their full potential and succeed at the difficult exam of Advanced Placement Calculus. His methods were unconventional and this got a lot of teachers and administrators annoyed.

This movie reveals how most teachers are more concerned with the discipline of the students rather than their academic performance. When Escalante arrives as a new teacher, the students mistreat, disrespect and taunt him. This strained relationship between teachers and students underscores the conflicting expectations of students, who view him as an enemy, which always lead to conflicts.

The movie highlights several issues that could increase chances of students dropping out of school. Although the students fail due to indiscipline, the poor family backgrounds also contribute to their failure in life. There is racial discrimination in school, neighborhood, and work places. This movie shows that one shouldn’t be judged by stereotypes based on their skin color or race.

Edward James Olmos delivers an outstanding performance portraying Jaime Escalante, which got him nominated for Best Actor in 1988. Some astonishing statistics are shared at the end of the movie, indicating that every year since then, even more students from this East LA school have passed the difficult exam.

This is a dramatic story and this is a worthy movie for being told.

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