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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

THE FIGHTER

By D.E.Levine

By D.E.Levine

Director: David O. Russell
Writer: Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (screenplay); Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson and Keith Dorrington (story)
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo, Mickey O'Keefe, Jack McGee, Micky Ward, Melissa McMeeken, Bianca Hunter, Erica McDermott, Jill Quigg, Dendrie Taylor, Kate B. O'Brien, Jenna Lamia, Frank Rezulli, Paul Campbell, Catlin Dwyer et al.
Producers: Dorothy Aufiero, David Hoberman, Ryan Kavanaugh, Todd Lieberman, Paul Tamasy and Mark Wahlberg
Executive Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Keith Dorrington, Eric Johnson, Tucker Tooley and Leslie Varrelman
Co-producers: Ken Halsband and Jeff G. Waxman
Original Music: Michael Brook
Running Time: 115 Minutes
Country of Origin: United States
Language: English
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport

After so many great boxing films one has to wonder what is left to say about the fight game.

In this truly remarkable film, David O. Russell directs a brilliant film that focuses on a very toxic blue collar family that brutalizes its youngest son who ironically is their best chance for achieving boxing and worldly success.

There are, of course, the recurring images of a fighter working with his trainer. In this case, Micky is the fighter with promise, and Dicky, his older brother, is his trainer who once was a promising fighter himself but gave in to drugs and prison.

Telling the true story set in Lowell, Massachusetts in the 1990s, among the working class, we see the domineering mother/manager and the six older sisters who play an integral part in everything Micky attempts, including his relationship with a girl.

Micky basically supports his family by taking physical abuse in the ring. He is both literally and figuratively a human punching bag. Played by Mark Wahlberg, who grew up knowing the real family and championed the making of the film, Micky is the central figure but initially his role is rather passive.

Dicky, who has drug induced feelings of grandiosity, is a much more flamboyant role and is brilliantly played by Christian Bale.

Family is central to this film. And, this isn't a dysfunctional family. Rather it's a very functional and destructive family.

It would seem that The Fighter is geared for defeat until Micky's new and strong girlfriend challenges his mother and sisters and turns the story into one of hope instead of defeat.

In the end, The Fighter becomes a story about elation, hope and optimist, as well as a biographical picture about an individual.