The Fighter: Heavy on Drama But Light on Action
Amy AdamsChristian Bale...
David O. Russell
In 1 Cinema
Mark Wahlberg reunites with Director David O. Russell more than ten years
after Russell’s Three Kings, a surprise hit that helped earn credibility
for both the actor and the director.
In their second collaboration, The
Fighter focuses on a boxer called Micky Ward (Wahlberg), who is believed to
the pride of small-town Lowell,
Massachusetts. However, Micky’s
career is noticeably going downhill as a result of having his cocaine addict half-brother
Dicky training him (Bale) and his mother Alice (Leo) as his controlling manager
who limits his space for better opportunities on the side.
Alice and Dicky agree to place
Micky against an obviously mismatched opponent in return for a cut of the opponent’s
prize money; effectively setting up Micky for defeat. Humiliated by his defeat,
Micky withdraws from his family and falls for bartender Charlene (Adams), who convinces him that his boxing career will be
better off without his mother and half-brother attempting to sabotage it.
Naturally, his family view Charlene as unnecessary interference, and that’s
when tensions rise.
The Fighter won two Academy Awards this
year, plus 23 other awards and 37 nominations. That basically means that the film is
almost flawless; still there’s always room to comment.
The Fighter is
very much a drama with little action, despite its trailer that may lead audiences
to believe that it is another Rocky or
Million Dollar Baby. Here, the plot focuses on the conflicts between Micky
and his family; with a closer look at Micky’s personal battles outside the ring.
There’s no denying that The Fighter
is a solid boxing drama with credible and powerful performances by the entire
cast. Despite his much-publicized past as a model and rapper, Wahlberg’s work
in recent years has been consistently impressive; especially in this film,
where he’s helped by a strong script and positive direction.
Bale is perfect as Micky’s troubled brother (winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor). Other than losing a noticeable amount weight in order to prepare himself for his part as a crack cocaine addict, he’s
quite fitting as the doting
big bother that can’t quite make it to practice due to his drug addiction.
Alice is the third major link in this troubled triangle-relationship,
where she keeps forcing her judgments and decisions over her son’s boxing
profession, appearing to sabotage his potential future for her personal gains. Leo gives a powerful performance, delivering her lines with a
fierceness and strength that put Wahlberg’s character to the test – deservedly earning
Leo an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
Avoid The Fighter if you’re
looking for an action film, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re
looking for a drama with some of the
best award-winning performances out there.