People always love movies with characters they can relate to, root for and believe in! Someone’s story that gives them something or someone to be inspired by. The Fighter is definitely that movie, where viewers get a glimpse into the life of boxer Irish Mickey Ward during his rise to acclaim in the boxing world!
But the road wasn’t easy (as with most things in life worth doing, it’s never is easy to obtain). Mickey Ward (played by Mark Wahlberg) grew up idolizing his half-brother Dicky Eklund (played brilliantly well by Christan Bale) he who was tagged as the “pride of Lowell” (Massachusetts). Unfortunately for Eklund an addiction with drugs ruined what could have been a promising career (including a much talked about throughout the film match he had with Sugar Ray Leonard). Dicky did however go on to help train and teach his younger brother Mickey, and with their mother Alice (played by Melissa Leo) as Mickey’s manager tried to help lead him towards the route to become a champion.
But tough losses, poorly set up fights and conflicts throughout the family (Alice had 9 children including Mickey & Dicky & 7 girls) made that a difficult task. And no greater conflict arrived than when Mickey’s new love interest Charlene (played with a feisty attitude by Amy Adams) came into the picture. Mickey soon found himself coming to a cross roads decision on whether or not his brother/mom & family really have his best interest at heart for his career, or should he move in a different direction!
Wahlberg’s performance was very sincere as you really pulled for Ward to find a way to make it to the next level in his quest to try and become a champion. Mom Alice (Leo) puts on a tough take no nonsense kind of pitbull in a skirt demeanor, but at the same time you never questioned her loving affection and devotion to her children. Charlene (Adams) was no pushover either by any stretch as she took no flack, slack or excuses from anyone whether from Mickey, or his mom! Call it crazy or brave, but you have to respect a woman willing to stand up to her boyfriend’s mom (not the easiest of tasks to deal with in relationships lol).
And then there is the portrayal of Dicky Eklund by Mr. Bale! I know many of you have already heard the Oscar buzz surrounding this performance and let me go on the record as saying, it’s well deserved and not surprising. The easiest thing to do I’m sure for any actor playing someone with an alcohol or drug addiction is to just focus on the obvious blatant over the top things that someone might do or say (frantic movements or jestures, sarcastic quips or outlandish lies, hostile posturing or profane laced tirades, etc.) But what really made Bale’s performance of Dicky so powerful and memorable were the more “quiet moments” and the showing of his actions, good, bad & ugly that impacted his family throughout the film for better or worse.
I believe at the heart of this film lies a story that everyone can believe in and feel good about, and that’s the importance of one never giving up on yourself, your commitment to family and loved ones, and working hard and fighting to make your dreams a reality! So whether your a fan of boxing or not, or if you’ve never heard of Mickey Ward until now, this should definitely be a story viewers can find entertaining, heartfelt and inspiring. So on a scale of 1-5 5 being the highest and 1 being the lowest I give The Fighter 4 1/2 stars. Till next time be safe and stay blessed.