IRL = In Real Life. FYI.
“Million Dollar Arm“, Disney’s latest movie not only takes its inspiration from the world of baseball, but the real world itself. The characters, their worlds, and the overall thesis of this movie are directly inspired the real people who experience the real things that play out on-screen. Why? Because their story was apparently worth telling.
In short, their story tells of a struggling sports agent named JB Bernstein (played by Jon Hamm) who arranges a deal that could bring a new era in his business life. That deal would take him clear across the world to India to find the two next best baseball pitchers. After hosting many qualifying events, he finds two young men named Rinku (plated by Suraj Sharma “Life of Pi”) and Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal “Slumdog Millionaire”), who have never picked up a baseball before, who have potential and brings them to America for the first time for more intense training that would get them ready for a chance to play for a major league team. If this all sounds like a good idea for a movie, then you’d be surprised that this is actually the first 30 minutes of the film!
From the names of the characters to the process to how they were found, it is all real life. “All the major points in the story are true,” said the real JB Bernstein at a press conference we attended for the film a few weeks ago in Beverly Hills. “Rinku, Dinesh, and my ‘fish out of water’ story was exactly as it happened.” Even all the way down to costuming, the story of JB Bernstein is a true story which is the “beauty” of this film all the way down to its script.
“It’s such a simple, amazing, almost unbelievable story, but was put together with so much emotion and love that it makes you feel something. I’m a sucker for that,” said Jon Hamm (who plays JB Bernstein on-screen) commenting on Tom McCarthy’s (“Up”) work as the screenwriter. The cast and crew gave him credit for taking a simple story and making it into something that could “entertain an audience, but not conform to an age of cynicism,” producer Joe Roth said at the conference.
And that’s what this movie does. It entertains and encourages you AND you don’t have to be in a dire situation like JB or in a “new world” situation that Rinku and Dinesh came to when prepping for their major league tryouts. If anything, to find movie-magic inspiration in the real world is a feat in itself and that may be the reason critics are already calling it a “million dollar movie.”
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Be sure to read our SPOILER-FREE review of the film before you slide into your nearest home theater to watch this film. It’ll be on the site tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Do you think your life would inspire a movie one day? Do you have more appreciation for films that have real-life inspirations? Do you think you’ll relate to this movie as some other critics already have? Tell us in the comments!