In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for Air, we talk about themes that help us understand the film.
- Sonny Vaccaro – Matt Damon
- Rob Strasser – Jason Bateman
- Howard White – Chris Tucker
- Phil Knight – Ben Affleck
- Peter Moore – Matthew Maher
- Deloris Jordan – Viola Davis
- Julius Tennon – James R. Jordan Sr.
- David Falk – Chris Messina
- George Raveling – Marlon Wayans
The themes and meaning of Air
Early in Air, there’s a scene where members of Nike’s basketball division look at the 1984 draft board and try to decide on three players to recruit. Rob Strasser asks everyone in the room what they think. No one answers. He keeps pushing and pressing. It’s painful. The answers he finally receives are half-baked and lack conviction. Finally, Sonny Vaccaro snaps, yells at the room, then leaves. Even though he didn’t speak up, he makes it clear he wants Jordan.
Later that night, Vaccaro convinces himself Jordan is the only answer. The next day, he begins a crusade to bring Jordan to Nike. It’s slow and difficult going, but Vaccaro eventually convinces Strasser, Nike CEO Phil Knight, and Howard White to join the cause. Each one plays a part. Including lead shoe designer Peter Moore.
The pitch that ends up winning Jordan over is based on the idea that a shoe is just a shoe until someone steps into it. Specifically, Michael. This is at odds with Converse and Adidas. Those companies both viewed their shoes as bigger than the individual. The athlete is lucky to be with them. Nike makes it clear that they’re lucky to have Michael Jordan. That when he wears this shoe that’s designed for him, that reflects him, it will mean something to the rest of the world.
This should be empowering for viewers. Of course, Jordan is this amazing, generational athlete. Most of us won’t be impactful on that level. But we all have a shoe waiting for us. A role that we need to step into. Our voice should be heard. If you’re living life like someone in that meeting, staying quiet, uninformed and uninspired, then the world is worse off. When you make the effort, like Sonny did, special things can happen.
Share Your Opinions
Do you have additional insights regarding the themes and meaning that you believe should be incorporated into the Colossus Movie Guide for Air? Leave your comments below, and we may include your suggestions in our comprehensive guide?
Write a response