“I came to coach basketball players, and you became students. I came to teach boys, and you became men.” The theme of the movie “Coach Carter” is that no matter your current situation, if you have respect and responsibility you will make it in life. The setting of where the movie takes place, the protagonist, the tone, and mood all play big roles in identifying the theme.
The setting was a big part in the theme. The setting is what makes the part of the theme, “No matter your current situation.” The setting is set in the projects and ghettos of Richmond, California in the year 1999. The basketball players had to grow up in this very poor city, and this gave them the attitudes and backgrounds that they grew up with. The protagonist in this film is Coach Ken Carter. He supports the theme because he is the one that influences the basketball players to treat one another and everyone around them with respect. He makes them call him Sir and their teachers Sirs and Madams. He also taught them to be responsible. They learned responsibility by needing to have a C+ average in school, to wear dress clothing attire on game days, and staying away from getting in trouble with the law. The tone and mood used in this movie have a very big effect on the theme. The tone is extremely serious. Coach Carter uses a serious tone to prove his dominance over his players so they will listen to him and follow his “rules.” The mood is optimistic. An optimistic mood helps the theme because Coach Carter is hopeful for the basketball season and also his players’ futures. He makes them believe that if they grow from boys to men, they will make it out of Richmond and make a life for themselves, which very few black males did at the time.
The theme “no matter your current situation, if you have respect and responsibility you will make it in life” is very appropriate for this inspirational sports movie. As the movie progresses, with gaining respect and responsibility from their coach and his actions towards them, the basketball players make it out of the projects, go to college, and make a name for themselves.