I AM SAM
Written by : Kristine Johnson
Starring : Sean Penn
Distributed by : New Line Cinema
Release Date : December 28, 2001
Running Time : 134 minutes
Hi, guys. I just found this great movie on TV today, well, I’m not sure in what channel was I watching this tear-jerker movie. It’s about a… well, let’s say, a mental retardation father trying to figure out how to take care of his 7-year old daughter, alone, without her mother.
It was Sam Dawson who suffered mental retardation, who fights for her daughter along despite of his disability in much aspects. Her daughter, Lucy Diamond Dawson, unlike him, is a brilliant and smart little girl. She reaches far from his father, she even teaches him so many things that she has learned at school. To acknowledge him anything at night, they both learn together. Lucy feels like she receives so much love from his father, no matter how he is in the eyes of her friends who called her father, ” a retard”. Sam also loves Lucy and never had a thought to lose her until he has to fight for her custody in court. He later asks help from a stubborn, cold, but smart lawyer who has defeated her rivals in court. She should be the highest-paid lawyer in her office because of her achievements to win cases, but to indulge Sam that she later knows is ‘a disabled-client’, who can’t never pay her enough, and her friends at office who will see her as a heartless if she didn’t accept Sam’s case for free, she accepts Sam’s case as a pro bono.
With so much hard work to teach Sam how to win his case, and also to understand that he might not grasp his lesson as fast as normal people would do, Rita Harrison, the lawyer tries hard to perfect the way Sam delivering his defense. Rita Harrison teaches Sam how to be firm and doubtless. Because all Sam wants is to get his daughter back. During the process of learning, not only Sam who is learning from the tough lawyer, the lawyer herself also learns from Sam about his compassion and patience during the difficult times, in terms to fix her relationship with her son, Willy, though it’s not the relationship with her husband.
I don’t know why I completely cried during the movie. Seeing the daughter hugging her daddy was a heart-wrenching moment for me. You know what, it’s maybe because I just lost mine two months ago. Exactly, on May 17 2013 I heard this bad news about my daddy not showing up for four days, then his neighbor called my mom and asked me whether my daddy was in our house or not. Of course, he wasn’t here. With the remain strength I had in my body, I tried not to fall down. My head got dizzy, spinning around like there was a light earthquake that seemed so big for me.
I don’t have father anymore, or like one of Oprah’s shows that says, fatherless daughters, yeah I’m one of them. Lucy said in that movie (which was played brightly by the sweet Dakota Fanning) that she didn’t want another daddy but Sam. Yeah, that’s what I thought about my daddy, too. No matter how greedy he was to us, to me, his daughter, he’s still my daddy and I don’t want to replace him with another man even he’s the richest in the world and can buy me the whole galaxy, and fly me to the moon or another dimension. No, thank you. I’ve seen my friends and my cousin being an orphan, most of them mourning the loss of their daddies, too. In Indonesia, we’re called ‘yatim’. I know now how it feels like to lose one of your parent suddenly, no signals that he would leave us forever. He was the one who would call me twice or three times a month and texted me as much as he wanted just to ask how I am doing. His last text I didn’t reply, is the one I regret the most in my whole life.
His last call I missed is the last ring I regret in my whole life. He would never call me again. He comes to my dreams at night, yeah, but it’s not enough, of course. Because, by the time I wake up, he’ll be gone again.
Yeah, this movie reminds me how important the role of a father is, even though your father is the greediest. He’ll be the one you remember for doing things together in his spare times, when you wanted to sit on his thighs on a plastic chair until it’s broken, or when he hugged you, avoiding you from the kiss of an amazing, cute dolphin that would not eat you with his bottle-shaped mouth.
Unfortunately, I haven’t found that photo, the photo of him hugging me with his wide smile avoiding me from dolphin, and there I was, screaming horrifyingly wishing to be taken away from the cute dolphin. We were in Ancol. I don’t know who took that picture, but I believe that picture was taken for me, to recall back that memory again by the time he is no longer there for me. Now, I’m so thankful to God that I remember the shape of the photo, the brown color that messed up almost the whole picture, when I think the picture now is lost.
Dad, you’ll be missed by me. Reza was so sad when he heard you’re no longer there in your dirty room, watching TV. You were there for the last time, sitting on the chair, not breathing. May Allah SWT give you the best place I could ever wish for one and only greatest father of mine.
Thank you, I Am Sam, for reminding those who don’t really love their pappas to always love him no matter what happens to him. Thank you, Lucy, for teaching me that no matter how stupid your father might be, but his love is beyond his genius that you’ve never wished.