Jan 24, 2011


I saw Christian Bale for the first time when he was in Steven Spielberg’s war epic “Empire of the Sun” (1987). He was an innocent child with red ruddy face. And now, he is on a transition to become a great character Actor, always bumps into great movies with great scripts (I observe that the other one has to be Leo DiCaprio). Have you ever heard about Micky Ward? He was former WBU World Champion in 1980s period. Thiz is a real-life story about early years of his career. Talking about Ward will not be completed without talking about the man behind him, his personal trainer and half blood brother, former Welterweight Champion Dicky Eklund. Eklund’s most notable fight was when he against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978. I find that boxing movies always made a deep impression about human struggle. It is perfect metaphor for any of us. You could feel the deepness and intensity like in Robert DeNiro’s “Raging Bull” (1980), Denzel Washington’s “The Hurricane” (1999), Russel Crowe’s “Cinderella Man” (2005) and even American hero icon “Rocky” (1976-2006). Micky Ward is played by Mark Wahlberg. At a glance, Wahlberg is a perfect choice for boxer figure, but once again Mark Wahlberg is still Mark Wahlberg, although his acting is not bad at all, we can still see the typical Mark Walhberg. In fact, the most interesting part that attracts us in thiz film is definitely Christian Bale’s transformation as Dicky Eklund. If you know Eklund in person, then you know how Eklund’s attitude looks like, how he talks, the body language and his indifferent demeanor. Bale makes a phenomenal impression to portray that figure completely. A good acting is not only coming from the appearance, but how you can create a precise “Soul” to fill into the character. And Bale made it! After all these years, he reminds me of how much he has been dealing with each of his roles so seriously. For me, he is the next Daniel Day-Lewis. The next thing that catches my attention is Amy Adams. Have you ever seen her acting in “Enchanted” (2007)? Adams delivers a sturdy and sexy performance all at once as Ward’s girlfriend. I keep asking myself, where has that princess Giselle’s character gone? The best bold performance actually comes from Melissa Leo for the mother figure. There is a scene in a living room, when Leo talks furiously to her family. In that moment, I really feel she actually talks to me. The amazing gesture to portray a real situation surprisingly comes from that small role. Again, the movie uses a lot of hand-shake camera techniques to drag you into the middle of the situation. Notably, I love how every time they pull us into “Boxing Ring Scene”. Suddenly, it looks like we have been watching those 1980s TV boxing matches, the picture contrast and camera angles have suddenly changed dramatically. The movie direction comes from not too very active Director, David O. Russel. He usually only made one film for every two or three years. Some of his previous directing credits are “I Heart Huckabees” (2004) and my favorite “Three Kings” (1999). Substantively, you could see that Eklund uses Ward to redeem his past mistakes. Eklund needs Ward. Even more, His entire family needs Ward. I really understand, Ward becomes their asset, hope and dream. But the truth is Ward also needs them. The movie reminds us of everybody needs everybody. You don’t need time-machine to change your past. But you can actually change it now in a present time.

Stars : 7,5/10
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Jonny Fendi

"I'm the one who's fighting. Not you, not you, and not you."

1 comment:

  1. This is easily David O. Russell's best film since "Three Kings," showing him as a director capable of creating a transparency in storytelling rather than dominating it with flashy film making.