The Fighter

“The Fighter” is based on a true story and was shot on location in Lowell, Massachusetts. The film was Produced by Boston native Mark Wahlberg (“The Departed”). “The Fighter” is a gripping tale of love, redemption and family. This film is directed by David O. Russell (“Three Kings”), and he was nominated for a Directing oscar for this film. When I started this column 18 months ago, I didn’t want to review any new DVDs. I’ve reviewed films from 2007, and to me that felt too new. However, this film was worth breaking my rule.

I’ve seen this movie twice, and at first I was hesitant to watch, because I saw it after the Oscars and there were never copies of this film available at Blockbuster. I started to ask myself, ‘what’s the point?’ I can easily lose interest over hype. On first viewing, I loved the cinematography; it was the first boxing movie in 20 years to not copy “Raging Bull” (the Martin Scorsese classic). It managed to have fight scenes that were edited based on emotions and needs of the scene. This is what making movies is: telling a story without saying, “Hey, look at me.”

My first round with this film, I was floored by Christian Bale’s performance as Dicky, a retired boxer addicted to crack who is training his younger brother Micky, played by  Mark Wahlberg, the star of this film. The film follows the story of the early years of the brothers’ training before Micky Ward (Wahlberg) went pro in the mid 1980s. When I watched this film again, I realized it also rose above sentiment and told the hard-hitting truth of the woes many families, and especially brothers, go through. The film for some is a tear-jerker, but is never meant to be.

I studied this film second by second upon repeat viewing and every moment is true to life. The film is completely refreshing, original and gives us hope for cinema to come. I don’t like repeating myself, but in a time when youtube is more popular then art, we need “The Fighter”. Both Wahlberg and Bale received well-deserved Oscar nominations and at least one of them should have won. I’ve been a big Wahlberg fan since “The Departed” (his other Oscar nomination) and I love Bale as Batman, but this outdid any caped crusader movie we’ll see.

I highly recommend this movie. The photo with this review is of the actual gym where the movie was filmed. I’m still in Boston, and for movie-lovers I recommend a visit. Classics like “Good Will Hunting”, “The Departed” and “Mystic River” were filmed here.

Year: 2010

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale

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