February 16, 2011
The Fighter (2010)
I for one, not a fan of boxing. If there's nothing on television and I'm on the state of boredom, I will watch it and maybe even liked it eventually. But it's not my favorite type of TV program or sport. One thing that made me drawn to The Fighter first of all, is the depth feeling of the poster, as I use in the left. And so I heard that the movie got nominated in 7 categories in Oscars. I was not going to let my subjectivity in boxing made me pass the movie, of course I have to see it.
The Fighter, is a drama about boxer "Irish" Micky Ward's unlikely road to the world light welterweight title. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky, a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after nearly being KO'd by drugs and crime. (imdb.com)
The movie felt like a winner, because it portrays a definite contrast between the basis of older and younger brother treatment from their mother and how Mark Wahlberg, who plays Micky Ward, after feeling down by losing 7 times tries to get back in the game. Micky was managed by his mother and trained by his former great boxer brother, Dicky.
It was clear that Dicky is her mother's most favored son since he once 'beated' Sugar Ray, the big legend in boxing. That winning moment felt like years ago as he is now a drug addict and even if he knows a lot about boxing, he does not help his younger brother as his trainer very seriously. When Micky had a meltdown, he met Charlene (Amy Adams) who help him meet his confidence. She and his father convince him to have another trainer and manager to help him focus, after Dicky is arrested and imprisoned.
Being in a family business may have its own benefits but the downside is when dealing with someone who's unprofessional about it would trigger another level of problem and sensitivity. In Micky's case he's facing his mentor and guide older brother and his manager, his mother. Sometimes being the younger sibling has its own minus, like less interest of opinion or voice on something by parents or older sibling. Especially being raised in a house with nine kids, the strive to be heard is much more bigger. When Micky met Charlene, a tough woman who believes him, he got another push to be strong. The story move forward with family and winning conflict and ego shattered.
Christian Bale plays a once boxing championship and a drug addict brother in an excellent performance. Too bad I could not see more of his turning point from a high egoistic brother to a sober man. I also enjoyed seeing Amy Adams being a tough outspoken girl who works in a bar, which I think is a breakthrough from all of her sweet-girl roles before. If she didn't have a good performance I would think she as a sweetener to this high muscular movie. It is brilliant to make a smaller video resolution (as you can see the stripes in the image) whenever Micky is on a boxing championship, to capture the feeling of watching from a TV. Everybody is discussing about how Mark Wahlberg did not get a nomination in the Oscar, it is a bit disappointing for him, as I read here he took no upfront fee for this film. But when I see him in the movie, I did still see him as Mark Wahlberg.
What message I got from this movie? Be your own voice. Trust your instinct. There will never be another person who's going to live your life better besides yourself. Of course at hard times, we need a push and a support from someone who truly believes in us. Being a younger child had the benefit to see older sibling's steps first but felt strange to take those steps in self's terms. It's beautiful to see Mark as Micky took charges of his own life and make his own way.