As the name of Hilary Clinton’s book goes, it takes a village to raise a child. But in Safety, it collectively took Clemson University to raise a child.
Unlike a conventional sports biopic, Safety is basically revolving around how a sportsman manages to juggle between personal life, sports and academics. It also shows how a University supports (or is supposed to support, in real life) their student when they need it most. However, the way the movie showed Clemson University support Ray McElrathbey (Jay Reeves) foster his younger brother in the absence of their mother, who is attending rehab to get over drug abuse, was too good to be true.
Safety begins with Ray McElrathbey, an ambitious student-athlete who steps into the campus of Clemson University carrying tons of situational baggage with him. His target is to nail a scholarship for which he needs to perform well in both sports and academics. He meets a bunch of people there who turn out to be really helpful and supportive. His sports coaches are equally competitive and helping. In short, all conditions are in Ray’s favour.
Problems begin when Ray’s younger brother Fahmarr (Thaddeus J. Mixson) is left alone as his mother goes into addiction recovery and Ray is forced to take care of him and house him in his dorm. Ray’s friends play along and help look after Fahmarr when Ray is away. Honestly, I’d consider Ray to be extremely lucky to have a supportive bunch of friends and teammates. Otherwise, it’s difficult to find a supportive group in such competitive times. When Ray’s coaches step in, finding out about this, at first they are against Fahmarr staying on campus, but later they find Ray and Fahmarr suitable accommodation.
Though Ray was made to stand on crossroads to choose between family and sports, everything turns out to be fine in the end.
Ray, in an attempt to be a good student and a good sportsman, finds his life to be dizzyingly busy. Jeez, I was quite in awe watching him juggle family, school and sports so efficiently. But what seemed absurd to me was how Clemson University supported Ray and Fahmarr find a house to stay in. This isn’t something you get to see in real life.
Ray’s and Fahmarr’s equation is a whole lot more than just two brothers. It’s more like them against the world. Plus, Ray and his bunch of friends even helped Fahmarr with his academics.
Reginald Hudlin’s Safety all in all is a heartening film to watch, though some parts of the movie are a bit of a drag.
Safety is currently streaming on Disney+.
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