Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Fighter

This weekend I watched The Fighter, a movie based on the real story of working class boxer Micky Ward and his struggles outside the ring with his family.  His overbearing mother wants to manage his career and does a poor job of it.  He has a crack addicted older brother who is in and out of jail whose claim to fame is having knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard before losing the bout on points.  His sisters hate his girlfriend and see her as coming between him and the family.  Through all this he questions his commitment to a career in boxing.

Mark Wahlberg plays Micky Ward and having grown up with a similar childhood, does an admirable job of portraying Micky.  He even does a respectable job of appearing like he can box.  Christian Bale steals the show, however as Dicky Eklund, the crack addict older brother.  Bale underwent a startling physical transformation for the role, looking gaunt and quite haggard.  I think I could take him in a boxing match though.  It is the relationship between the brothers that is the heart of the movie.  It's difficult to see the effect of drug addiction on a family. 

What I found most interesting was that Dicky proudly told everyone who would listen that he was the subject of an HBO documentary.  He tells everyone the subject is his comeback, but in reality the subject is crack addiction.  I managed to find the documentary online here, and while a nice addition to the film, it is heartbreaking to watch.
 


I recommend both the movie and the documentary.  Together they present a nice one, two punch.
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