After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak.
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Mary Kay Place
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SPEAK follows six unforgettable characters as they prepare to compete for the title, "World Champion of Public Speaking." SPEAK is a powerful, inspiring documentary about conquering life's hurdles and finding your voice.
The young adolescent Melinda Sordino arrives at high school feeling confused, depressed and alone. Her school peers call her "squealer", because she alerted the police during a summer party after she was sexually assaulted by Andy Evans. She refuses to tell anyone the events that took place. Her depression and distance from people is made worse by the increasingly large gap between her and her parents. She finds great support with her art teacher Mr. Freeman and her school friend David Petrakis. Her feelings threaten to engulf her but Melinda learns to grow from her experiences instead of repressing the past emotions that have scarred her for the rest of her life. Written by
Andrew Rodriguez, Tinton Falls New Jersey
"Sordino," Melinda's last name, means "muted." See more »
The movie came out in 2004, but the book it is based on came out in 1999. So the turn of the century for the book would be the 1900s. For her extra credit assignment, Melinda is told to write an essay on a cultural influence at the turn of the century. Yet the movie takes place at the turn of the 21st century, around 2003. It should have specified "turn of the last [20th] century." She decides to write about the suffragists of the 1910s. See more »
So I raped you? I could have any girl in this school I wanted. Willingly! Why would I rape you? You're not even attractive.
[tries to run but is grabbed by Andy]
No! No, no!
You really screwed things up for me! You know that?
No, help me!
You are going to go to every single person in this school and tell them that you lied!
[Melinda throws chemicals in Andy's eyes]
Ah! My eyes!
No! Get off of me! Get off!
[from outside of the closet]
What's going on in there? Open this door ...
[...] See more »
Well which one is it? This movie really surprised me, as the performances from Stewart and Zahn are brilliant. The movie slowly unfolds and tells us the story of Melinda (Stewart) and a traumatic event during her summer causes her to lose all her confidence and become alienated from society.
Her fellow classmates and her "ex best friends" bully her and parents don't understand her problem because she cannot talk or even imagine the event that caused her confidence to falter.
Stewart does a great job as the frightened unconfident Melinda and the narration from her is quirky, funny but also gives an insight of how the character actually feels. Zahn also does a great job as the funky art teacher trying to inspire his students and help Melinda regain her confidence.
The direction of the film is steady and knows where it wants to head and finish and shows the harsh reality of highschool where cliques form and bullying thrives but i felt that Angarano and Zahn deserved more screen time because they were great.
Positives: Great acting, good story and really pulls you into the film Negatives: Should've had more from the secondary characters Overall: Should definitely watch this film!!
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