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Directed By: Gavin O’Connor
Cast: Kurt Russell, Noah Emmerich, Kenneth Welsh, Eddie Cahill, Patrick O’Brien Demsey, Michael Mantenuto, Nathan West
Miracle is a David v/s Goliath story of a coach who takes a group of teenagers to Olympic glory. Miracle is a sports biography based on the life of Herb Brooks. About how Herb coached the US Ice Hockey Team comprising of college kids against the famous Soviets.
Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell), an ex- ice hockey player and university coach signs up to coach the US team for the 1980 Olympics. The team comprises of college students, many of whom were coached by Herb previously. Miracle follows the journey of the kids and highlights the transformation from just a collection of individuals to a team. Herb’s strategy of success is to build the bond by invoking the passion the kids have for the country. Every guy is from a different background and Herb uses different approaches against each individual. I loved the scene (and it actually defines the entire movie) when he makes them practice after they draw a Norwegian team. Over the course they become the best conditioned team. Game by Game they bond and improve and then accomplish the unthinkable.
Miracle is based in 1980’s when the cold war was at its peak and the US and the USSR were competing for almost everything. Even a trivial thing like a hockey game was amplified because of the national animosity. Eastern Bloc hockey teams were the best in the world with Soviets being the the team to beat. They had recently beaten the NHL All Stars 10-3 in a friendly. So the task put before the kids was next to impossible and nobody gave any chance to the amateurs. But Brooks had a method, he knew a way to beat the soviets but it was hard and long.
Miracle is steered by Herb Brooks and Kurt Russell has given a memorable performance. Kurt’s performance is controlled. Even though there is a reason behind him taking the job- an unfinished business but he cares for the kids. He is uncompromising but knows the limits to which the kids can be pushed. The opening few scenes establish Herb’s mindset and confirms the visionary he was often referred to as. When Craig Patrick (Noah Emmerich) says: You are missing some of the best players, to which Herb replies : “I’m not looking for the best players, Craig. I’m looking for the right ones”. He antagonizes the kids and the kids bond over the common cause and in the process an identity is created. For his one question asked every time, Mike Eruzione (Patrick O’Brien Demsey), the team captain finally says “I play for United States of America”.
Miracle is a movie which can be seen with family and more importantly the kids need to see it. There is an emphasis on teamwork, leadership, sacrifice and more importantly hard-work: values any parent would want to teach their kids. Watch and share one of the finest sports movies ever made.