On Saturday, I went to see The Fighter, a movie staring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Amy Adams. The film recounts the real-life experiences of boxer, Micky Ward and his family en route to the pursuit of boxing greatness.
Unfamiliar with Ward’s boxing and family history, I cannot say how accurately the film narrates this period of his life. However, the film is a beautiful tale exemplifying the tensions that run through family, work, the criminal justice system, the boxing industry, and the working-class community of Lowell, Massachusetts in the early 1990s.
Based on the film’s trailers, one might expect a typical “underdog overcomes the odds” sports flick, supplemented with a tangential love interest and spattered family conflicts. While the sporting “underdog” narrative definitely exists, boxing is used more as a medium through which a deeper familial story is told.
The Fighter Trailers:
Christian Bale gives a phenomenal performance. Playing Micky Ward’s older brother, Dicky, Bale effectively illustrates how substance use turns into a coping mechanism when one’s identity is wrapped up so heavily in an erratic athletic career. Outstanding movie.