Making the Grades
Based on fact, Searching For Bobby Fischer is a movie that all parents should watch with their kids, but is especially applicable to those parents that seem to find more pride in what their children can accomplish than what they can do themselves. This movie isn't really about Bobby Fischer, but instead shows what Bobby may have experienced: That it can be thankless at the top, especially in chess. It is far from the image of the marble board in the rich mansions on television.
Josh Waitzkin, beautifully played by young Max Pomeranc, is a seven-year-old chess prodigy. He can see moves twelve turns ahead of where he is. He soon shows his father just how much mastery he has for the game. His father (Joe Mantegna), a sportswriter, immediately does what all parents would and begins having Josh trained to be even better. Soon he is on the tournament circuit. The problem is that Josh likes playing chess more than he likes competing, and that's where Dad and Josh differ.
If you can't relate to the chess aspect of the story, make a trip to a local hockey rink, soccer field, or baseball diamond. Now check the stands, and you are bound to find the faces of hopeful parents waiting for their little athlete to be the next Gretzky. Supporting our children and being proud of their achievements is imperative. However, the danger begins when parent's dreams become more important than the pure fun a child derives from playing a game.
About the only thing missing is more emphasis on the importance of a sound educational background, no matter what your talents are. However, this excellent movie provides an interesting view of the chess world and an angle on parenting that I haven't seen put to screen before. And all this without any violence, foul language, or sexual innuendo. Wow! What will they think of next?