December 27, 2010
The acting in this film is excellent. Mark Wahlberg, who plays Mikey Ward the younger brother trying to fulfill his own fighting dreams, looks and acts like a fighter and talks like a rough-around-the-edges Massachusetts native. His character is much quieter than the rest of his family, so Wahlberg's acting has to be done through body movement and gestures rather than dialogue. He portrays this character perfectly! Christian Bale has been seen in a variety of films recently, but this character is much different than the characters he has played before. It is always impressive to watch a film and forget who the actor is that's playing the character. That is exactly what happened when Christian Bale transformed himself into Dicky Eklund, the crazy ex-fighter trying to make his comeback. As the credits run at the end of the film the boxing brothers on which this film is based have a short blip. This solidifies the perfection of Wahlberg and Bale's performances. The real life Mikey is quiet and withdrawn and Dicky is loud and slightly spastic, exactly as the two actors showed them. They clearly did their research!
I have to admit that before it's release I was skeptical about this film. The trailer shows two fighter brothers who are working towards a comeback. It gives a glimpse of the family issues, but does not show the depth of this story. The true beauty of this film is in the family struggle story line rather than the fighting story. This revealed to me how powerful the element of surprise is in films. Everyone hates the movies that reveal all the funny or exciting parts in previews. The best films are the ones that can get you to the theater with the basic plot in previews, then impress you with the surprise of a deeper story that is relatable and emotional. This is exactly what was done with The Fighter. I expected to see a mediocre boxing-hero film and in reality was able to enjoy an excellent story about family and fighting for you dreams.
Overall, I was very impressed with this film. I believe the acting stood out above any other element. However, the story is exciting, hilarious, and emotional. Plus who can't relate to a little bit of family drama. But as award season approaches, I expect to see more individual actor awards rather than overall film awards.These amazing portrayals make a real-life tale come alive on the screen.
Posted by Lauren at 4:50 PM