I’m Charlie Walker, based on a true story directed by Patrick Gilles, is a drama in a 1971 setting. The movie brings together a blend of actors; Mike Colter, Monica Barbaro, Safiya Fredricks, Dylan Baker, and Mark Ford.
As humans, we are always looking to own what’s ours; be the boss that leads a team to do great things; this comes easily for some, but for others, it takes grit and a strong sense of determination to get there. Therein lies the life of Charlie Walker. Being black never gets you close to being the boss, even though they both start with the letter “B,” or so they thought, but one man would change that. Charlie always wanted a chance to own a truck, but with every trial, he was bounced off. His wife was his number 1 fan as long as the bills were paid; she was ok with any job that gave them a roof over their head, clothes on their backs, and food in their belly; having three daughters was a constant reminder.
Charlie was no quitter; he was relentless, dogged, resilient, and knew what he wanted, like a dog that wouldn’t stop until he got the bone. As the saying goes, when preparedness meets opportunity, you are sure to encounter success: two vessels belonging to Top oil collided on the sea and caused an environmental disaster; Top oil was faced with the impossible task of clearing the oil spillage as quickly as possible. They would need trucks to do the job, so every trucker in town was engaged for the job and was sure to check out of it. This was Charlie’s opening.
In the movie, Charlie has a strong intuition, which we sometimes call the 5th sense; he quickly gets into the heart of the matter; being the only black man, there was enough to resign. He stood as other truckers were given their contracts, he knew this was his chance, and he wasn’t going to miss it; the last contract required extra work and was considered impossible since the region of the bay it was located hard to reach nobody wanted it; Charlie wanted it, and he got it. Charlie seemed wired for the impossible; he trusted his intuition and made remarkable progress that got everyone talking; the media was on his tail day and night, asking him what his secret was.
Top oil as a company felt Charlie was gaining undue publicity and being a black man wasn’t good for their image. So they tried to sabotage him on several occasions; they planted drugs in his home, but thanks to his wife, she was able to figure things out and clear things out; being a black man like Charlie meant being ten steps ahead of all others at all times, so he always saw their gameplay miles away. His strategy was simple; make the local community of hippies affected by the oil spillage love him, build his team around trust and mutual respect and, most importantly, get the work done in the shortest possible time. The contract made available financial resources at the contractor’s disposal; this was his leverage, and he had a way of working the system. Top oil was in for a ride.
The media loved him, and he always spoke with confidence. He understood what it meant to be a boss and get the job done. In the end, he did finish his job in record time. He gave the Top oil official a taste of their medicine; he had evidence that placed them on his leash. You can hate him as much as you want, but you can’t touch him.
The movie gives insights into a unique individual’s life, which displays determination and strength of character. He loved his family and did everything to ensure he gave them the best. The movie’s plot is simple, a man doing all he has to be a father and husband to his wife and kids.
Given that I’m Charlie Walker was based on a true story, the writers made the fictional character of Charlie unrealistically perfect, which made it not fully expose the true story of Charlie since some crucial details were skipped. The movie arc never progressed past stereotypes, making the characters appear flat and leaving the audience with an obvious movie plot. I’m Charlie Walker isn’t a perfect movie, but It is good enough for a relaxed movie night.
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