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Taking Your Best Shot
The Fighter (DVD)
Member Name: Ayesha-`
The Fighter (DVD)
Advantages: Well performed film
Disadvantages: Mark Wahlberg's character may disappoint
I'd seen the trailers for this film a few times, and since the boyfriend has an interest in fighting, it was a must-see for him. So, unusually for us, we went to see this film on a Saturday at the cinema. I can see us seeing it again several times in future.
Micky Ward is a boxer hoping to make something of his career and future, but it seems that his family are holding him back . His half-brother Dicky is meant to be training him, but he always shows up late and seems more preoccupied with a coke habit that has messed up his own life. His mother Alice Ward is determined that Micky's career remain under her control and within the family, and so she is his manager and does everything she can to push away other people that want to help or be involved. The trouble is, he keeps getting fixed up in fights that are out of his league and leave him taking an unnecessarily severe beating. Then Micky meets Charlene, a tough woman who tells it how it is, and pushes him to break away from the clasps of his family and start getting good fights and better training. Inevitably, Micky finds himself caught up in a big row with an ultimatum, his family or his career and new girlfriend.
In spite of me being able to say a lot about Micky's scenario, it does not seem to be a film that is really about Micky at all. In fact, a lot of the time, the attention is much more focused around the life of his brother Dicky, and his drug problems. Somehow, this does work however, because one of the issues Micky is trying to deal with is the fact that he is being treated as if he must live in his old brother's shadow.. As the film is based on a true story (one I can't claim to know myself) I think this makes sense. I found the predicament that Micky faces, torn between Charlene, his family and his own wishes was very effectively portrayed in this film and my attention was certainly kept throughout, even if this is not the sort of film I would normally look out for myself. For my boyfriend, it was a favourite of the year.
Mark Wahlberg played a very subdued Micky, sometimes lacking a bit too much in passion or emotion. I did sense a bit of an unpredictability within his character because he seems to be suppressing a great deal of frustration, but I think the outcome may disappoint for some. In the end I did feel that a little more was needed from him, but his performance was still fairly convincing.
Christian Bale was much more prominent as Dicky and gave a great performance of someone who clearly has issues and the wrong attitude to life. His character develops really well in the film and this does help. I'm not really sure I liked the character and yet it was hard not to feel some kind of sympathy for him.
Micky's girlfriend Charlene Fleming is played brilliantly by Amy Adams. Another impressive performance comes from Melissa Leo as Alice Ward, Micky's mother and manager. The transformation into this character is really surprising and she does actually remind me that sort of overbearing person that we sometimes suffer in life.
Much of the film is set in a run-down area where the family live, and features Dicky's crack house that he often hides at. The film has quite a realist appearance and attempts to show a raw and honest world that we hope Micky can eventually escape. The area is not exactly poverty-stricken but has quite an uncomfortable feel about it, which I imagine is meant to reinforce the efforts that people like Micky might have to go to in order to reach fame and fortune (if he can).
The film is rated 15, and contains strong language and some violence. There are hints at sexual scenes but nothing too explicit.
I really enjoyed this film and my boyfriend enjoyed it even more. In particular I liked the fact that it did not attempt to over glorify the characters or make anyone look like angels, so it was quite convincing. As my boyfriend loved this film I think he will buy it, and I would not mind watching it again, although personally it is not one I would buy.
Summary: Documents the story of a rise to fame in boxing