The storyline is the foundation and the frame that puts this movie together. The fact that it’s based on a true story only makes it ring truer to the audiences. The story goes to show us that once your psychological mind is enslaved, that’s when you are truly a slave. I really enjoy any movie that champions smart people. Movies that encourage young people to want to be educated. It’s always good to have a movie like this with great moral message which teaches to use words as weapons instead of violence.
I think the debate portrayed in the movie is way different from reality today. Now we see a debate, we’d see two teams sometimes find themselves arguing their points at the same time, it gets heated. In the movie, you see a debater from one team starts and finishes his or her argument and then afterwards, an opponent stands up and does the same. Nonetheless, it doesn’t change the fact that if you want to see a movie that reminds you again of how important it is to take a stand and do something about it rather than be ignorant, then THE GREAT DEBATERS would definitely be that movie! Plus when you have someone as big as OPRAH WINFREY jumping on board being the executive producer for this film, it is just destined for intellectual greatness.
On paper, a movie about racial intolerance and debating would seem dry, but 2nd-time director Denzel Washington ("Antwone Fisher") does an excellent job of finding the humor and truth necessary to keep "The Great Debaters" from turning into a melodrama. Not that there aren't at least two or three moments of high drama mind you, but that they're handled in a tasteful way and may require you to wipe the tears out of your eyes before the end credits roll.
Denzel’s directing is good, not great yet, but he’s definitely learning his way toward that direction. I personally think his persona and right-on-the-target acting skill are what challenge his fellow co-stars to do the same and give their all.