The Fighter: Masterful Acting

Image: Paramount Pictures

In the final fight scene of “The Fighter,” I was literally on the edge of my seat, hands in fists and my blood was pumping.  Christian Bale’s character, Dicky Eklund tells his brother Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) to put all the pain and agony his family has gone through into the punches thrown at his opponent.  At that point in the movie, we have experienced and seen the depth of the struggle that Micky, Dicky and their family has gone through.  Everything in us wants Micky to win and triumph.

“The Fighter” is based on the real life story of Micky Ward, a boxer from Lowell, Massachusetts who rose to fame in the 1980’s.  In doing a little research and reading it seems as though the movie is more fiction than fact, but this does not take away from the movie in my opinion.  The story line of the movie is reminiscent of “Cinderella Man” and other boxing movies but what sets “The Fighter” apart is the acting.

“The Fighter” has been nominated for six Golden Globe awards and four of those are for acting (Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo). Christian Bale masters the role of Dicky Ecklund who rose to fame in boxing based on how well he did against world champion Sugar Ray Leonard.  When we are introduced to Dicky in the movie he is an emaciated, washed up boxer who is addicted to cocaine.  Amy Adams is no longer the princess in “Enchanted” and plays the role of a hardened bartender with grit and grace.  I felt like Mark Wahlberg played the role of Micky well but his performance didn’t stand out to me.  This seemed to fit with my take on the movie that it was more about Dicky’s redemption and the fight outside the ring than about Micky as a boxer.

I would definitely recommend this movie for those that can wade through some muck to find the redemption.  It is gritty and honest in its portrayal of life in the lower income side of Lowell.  Some might not like the heavy use of language in the film, but after movies like “The Departed” you wonder if the f-word is just another adjective in Boston.  By the end of the movie you will feel every punch that Micky thrusts toward his opponent and you will experience the deep redemption that the family feels.


About joelnewton

I am a husband to Hillary, a father to Anna and Norah

Posted on December 24, 2010, in Movie Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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