What’s the biggest secret you ever kept? Sneaking out past curfew, smoking pot behind the garage? What if this secret wasn’t yours to tell? Do you think that would make it easier or harder to keep?
Jamal Wallace (played by Rob Brown) is a basketball player in the Bronx. When we enter the story, he’s recently taken academic assessment tests and, in contrast to his work in class, has scored high enough to gain the attention of the school board. On top of this, it is mentioned that Jamal (Brown) is an exceptional basketball player. One night, after a successful game, he is sharing a meal with friends at a restaurant. They discuss, among other things, a neighborhood resident who is something of an urban legend, referred to simply as “the window” because he never leaves his apartment. A common tradition among the group is for one member to dare another. One of the men dares Jamal to break into “the window’s” apartment and return with something from inside. Jamal enters the apartment and sees a letter opener shaped like a knife but, much to his surprise, “the window” catches him, yelling loudly and inspiring Jamal to flee. Until his mother makes him aware of the fact, he never realized that he left his backpack in the apartment. That’s set aside, briefly, when he meets with an admissions officer from an expensive private school, as a result of his test scores. When his mother says they couldn’t possibly afford the tuition, the school official says that if Jamal were to continue playing basketball with the same skill for his new school, that tuition will not be an issue. In the time since, Jamal’s backpack was unceremoniously dropped from “the window’s” apartment and the notebooks inside, all containing creative writing of Jamal’s, now with editorial comments written with a red pen. Jamal approaches the apartment, this time using the front door, and asks “the window” if he would read more of his writing.
I truly love this movie. Brown as Jamal Wallace is a character you cannot help but like, despite his momentary foray into delinquency. “The Window” who is later identified as a renowned author who became a recluse decades before we’re introduced to him. “The Window”, played by Sean Connery, is a very sympathetic character and, as he takes on the role of mentor to Brown’s character, the audience is given the opportunity to see it change both of their lives for the better. Until recently, I hadn’t watched this film for some time. Since watching it again, I have no idea why it took me this long. You should see this movie as soon as you can.