Monday, September 12, 2005

Cinderella Man



Master of the Commanders is back with vengeance - how could one possibly deny this man a well deserved Oscar for A Beautiful Mind? He takes all those biased bastards head on this time - come watch James J Braddock fight for his pride, his family and for the hopes of millions of poor Americans!

A couple weeks back, it was Iqbal with his passion for Cricket - the passion which defined him and gave him his identity - this week it's Braddock and his boxing - and unlike Iqbal, boxing for him is not his identity, but a responsibility - responsibility towards his family and in an intriguing fashion, a ray of hope and strength for the society he lives in.

It's about the life of an honorable man and his struggle for survival in the thickest of times, a battle to keep his family together, to live upto the promises made to his kids, and about his respect for his motherland.

A lovely movie - probably one of the better ones in English this year - it manages to touch the sentimental nerves within you. Reminds you of the fact that the love for one's family and kids is of the same purity everywhere and in all the times. That honor is what matters the most to any self respecting citizen and that only the love and duty towards one's family can overtake it.

Russel Crowe as usual is terrific - one of the few perfect actors of recent times as I feel, after Tom Hanks. His ability to portray a tough, honorable, and yet sentimental and mortal personality is amazing. He seems to be living the role he portrays - there is no effort what so ever - nothing seems fake. Be it the emotional promise he makes to his son about not leaving him ever, or the extremely touching depiction of a defeated father fighting for the survival of his family, at the cost of his self respect - which he treasures the most - He is simply astounding.

Renee Zelleweger is the ideal complimenting wife one can expect - a sublime performance which leaves you with this feeling of secret appreciation. Always supporting and understanding his husband, the moral support one would look for in times of need - the kind which makes you go out of the way - which raises you up to more than you can be.

Paul Giamatti as Braddock's manager is charming - one cunning chap with some humanity left in him, always finds himself in between the horns of dilemma. The businessman within himself and the logic of the great depression tell him one thing, and the friend and the human inside ask for something else, and thankfully the friend wins. He is particularly good at showing the emotions of a trainer and manager professionally - he pounds his fists emphatically in air everytime Braddock wins, yet he manages to control his emotions to that of a professional and never lets the friend win over the manager. Damn good.

The director - Ron Howard has done an appreciable job. He has managed to bring out the emotions from his actors, just right - he must be a keen observer of human emotions. The details about the great depression are painstakingly accurate. The sets are believable, and the best part being that, the filming of the boxing sequences are terrific. You feel the punches hitting you, you feel the pain down your ribs, you can feel the blows and the tickle of the hot blood flowing down your ears - at the end of the sequences you find yourself sitting at the edge of the seats, your hands cold, and feet moving subconsciously to control your eagerness.
It's beautiful feeling.

All in all, I found the movie worth the money I spent. If you want to appreciate the emotions, the spirit of self respect and the pain of being honest - do watch it. Let me warn you - it's not that there have been no better movies than this - all I say is, it's one of the better ones this year - and truly the one which might compensate for the loss of Crowe's well deserved Oscar two years back.

8 comments:

Apps said...

Whoa fastest fulfillment of a request ever

NaReN said...

Kewl man.. gotta watch both movies "Iqbal" and this asap!!! I am trusting on your reviews :P

Murali said...

In case u loved the boxing part of it and how hard it is (In any case !!!) i recommend a movie called Raging Bull.... It is hailed as one of the all time best sport movies, De Niro movies (along with taxi driver of course)...

Also, ron Howard also happens to have directed A Beautiful Mind, Russell Crowe's oscar winning performance and probably his best to date!!! (before Cinderella man ?? :P)

Keshav said...

@Apps - Thanks. Always at your service! :P

@Naren - Thanks for trusting my reviews. Both the movies are worth it.

@Murally - I definitely would like to watch the movie you suggested. And I know Ron Howard directed A Beautiful Mind, but sadly Crowe didn't get the Oscar for it - It was taken by Danzel Washington for The Training Day! (remember the notorious episode of all black winners?) :)

Srinivas said...

Ah - one more movie review - why don't you write these for some newspaper dude?? ;-)

Keshav said...

@Srini - I would love to do so!! Have you any contacts? :P

Murali said...

Oh no bad mistake...

Ya i remember the black rampage(no offense to any african american ppl reading this blog :P ) Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington and Halle Berry...

Crowe got his Oscar for Gladiator right?


Trainin day is another cool movie... Whether Denzel deserved it or not is debatable.. But halle apparently did NOT!!

Keshav said...

Ya.. Crowe got it for Gladiator. And Halle Berry for Moster Ball, I think - I haven't seen it though, so can't comment if she deserved it or not!