Radical: Review

Radical is a story highlighting the true events of a teacher and his  classroom of kids out of  Matamoros MX  staring Eugenio Derbez.

He plays Sergio a school teacher looking to help a struggling student body that feels like it's been ignored and forgotten by the education system in Mexico. Sergio introduces the children to a more open and liberated style of learning . Ignoring the tired and standardized rubric that simply shows kids how to pass the national exams. My initial feelings when watching we're a bit abrasive as we've seen time and time again where Latino stories involving this topic seem to be limited to inner city kids need a hero to rescue them from their horrible surroundings and in the end it's about the teacher's journey and how they "saved" the day. This was not what I ended up watching . Yes we do have some of the tropes that come along with a tale that does get pulled from real life. I am first to acknowledge that in fact we do have school systems not focusing on the core of the issues here in the United States, the same is true in Mexico. What made me open up my callous heart was the down to earth child actors and the individuals they portray. Living situations in which only one of the siblings in a home can attend school, a child asked by a parent to not dream big asit would cause disappointment and of course gangs and violence that surround them can't be ignore as it is still a real thing . The story is not overwhelmingly complicated and Derbez does a great job finding the like in between comedic and dramatic actor. The children really are the stars of the film as they remind those of us that came from similar backgrounds that this is still happening, no matter how removed we are from it. 

I do have to say that the film is a definite watch and not flawless as we do run into some familiar territory by relying on gang violence as a crutch to give the audience a feel of danger and savagery in Mexico . Based on a Wired magazine story this is truly a good film that tugs at your heart strings isn't obnoxious with exploiting a certain class of citizen and their situation. I recommend it as we need more than "Stand and deliver" in our Latino film catalog . Radical doesn't break  the mold but it does let us look back at how children and their stories are overlooked and forgotten, but all it takes is one person to notice and start that radical change for the better. 

Score:⭐⭐⭐ 3/5

Rated PG-13 Run time: 2hr 7min

Release: Nov 2nd 2023