Dicky Eklund is a former boxing hero who squandered his talents and threw away his shot at greatness. Micky Ward, his half-brother, is the struggling boxer who spent his life living in his big brother’s shadow. Things change when Micky loses a decisive fight, and Dicky is sent to jail. Read the review of The Fighter for more.
Business rating: 2 stars
Star cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo.
What’s Good: The performances; the interesting narrative style of the film; the direction.
What’s Bad: Hardly anything.
Verdict: The Fighter will make its mark at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: None.
Watch or Not? The Fighter is worth a watch for just Christian Bale’s performance. The rest is a bonus.
The Weinstein Company, Relativity Media and Closest To The Hole Productions’ The Fighter is a family drama based on the true-life story of two half-brothers, Dicky Eklund and Micky Ward, from the small US town of Lowell, Massachusetts.
Dicky and Micky live in a fractured family, comprising their mother, Alice (Melissa Leo), Micky’s father, George (Jack McGee) and nine sisters. While Dicky was once a successful boxer, known as ‘The Pride of Lowell’, he has since fallen on hard times and has taken to crack addiction.
Younger half-brother Micky, meanwhile, has become the family’s fighter and he is the family’s hope for a champion. But despite all of his work, Micky’s career is failing and he loses fight after fight. Alice manages Micky’s career, and Dicky serves as his highly unreliable trainer. Micky’s father, George; a family sympathiser, Mickey O’Keefe (Mickey O’Keefe), and Micky’s girlfriend, Charlene (Amy Adams), want Micky to leave the company of his mother and brother and train better so that he can get a real shot at the Welterweight championship. Micky splits with his family after Dicky is sent to jail for fighting with the cops following a failed robbery attempt. Micky even starts winning boxing matches and is poised for the world championship, when Dicky returns from jail and wants to coach him again. Charlene is furious but Micky says he cannot stay away from his family. Will the re-entry of his family in his life spoil Micky’s chances in the ring? Will Micky become the new ‘Pride of Lowell’? The rest of the film, and the climax, answer these questions.
Story and Screenplay – The Fighter Review
Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson and Keith Dorrington’s story is very good. Micky’s conundrum of whether he should abandon his family for his career appeals to the viewer. Also, Dicky’s fall to disgrace and drug abuse, depicted in the film through a small documentary sequence, touch the heart strings. The depiction of Micky’s family, as a fighting and jostling unit, is also realistic. The screenplay (Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson) is very well-written too. It uses the narrative devices of boxing match commentary very well. In fact, the boxing matches, including the one in the climax, are the highlight of the film. The unconventional way in which Micky, the protagonist, fights, is very exhilarating. The fight sequences, as well as the other action scenes in the film, are well-executed.
Star Performances – The Fighter Review
Christian Bale’s depiction of the various phases of Dicky Eklund’s life (addiction and de-addiction) is superlative. His performance, by itself, makes The Fighter worth a watch. Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo are also very good. Mickey O’Keefe and Jack McGee provide able support.
Direction and Music – The Fighter Review
David O. Russell’s direction is the highlight of the film. He manages to maintain the intensity of the drama throughout the film and extracts fine performances from his cast. Michael Brook’s background score is good. Hoyte Van Hoytema’s cinematography is appropriate. The boxing match sequences have been realistically picturised. Pamela Martin’s editing is okay.
The Last Word
All in all, The Fighter stands a fair chance at the Indian box-office due to its good story and superb performances.