Monday, October 17, 2005

Cinderella Man

A remarkably good motion picture after quite a long time from Hollywood. And interestingly the film's success is due to the more solid premise that though each of the characters is playing his or her part superbly well and suitably well ( two different things) yet neither of them is getting dominant over the film itself, the Cinderella Man itself, the tone, the mood, the swing of the film.

The film's said to be a real-life story of a boxer who achieved glory during the days of the Big Depression. And interleaved into it is the gist of the film - his struggle with poverty and his inability to accept the fate of his family, his heroic struggle in which he would turn to beg rather than have to send his children away, and most importantly his sense of obligation to his family , his pain when he sees his wife, his children suffer because he, the man of the house, cannot provide for them sufficiently. The meek and accepting wife's role is excellently performed by Rene Zellweger, though probably in concession to the more feminist tone of America and the world at large, a couple of dialogues have been thrown in towards the end (the manager's wife saying them to Rene) to imply that being always in waiting to be provided by the man is such a tragedy for women. Still, although I personally think that the dialogues are jarring with the tone of the film, they are not being too anachronistic. Of course its a tragedy, but a tragedy in my viewpoint for only some of the women, women who seek to go out, who seek to play a larger role than the one society is restricting them to or expecting from them. But many women are happy also at being provided, and in fact now that women also make careers as well as men, I often get to see women who are unhappy at being thrust into a career rather than a home, but then they continue to live that way since they do not want to feel left out, do not want to feel that they are not conforming to what society expects of them.

But I’m veering from the review. The manager’s role has been done brilliantly by Giamatti and his sharp jabs of speech and apparent enthusiasm , his dancing around the ring always makes him the most lovable man in the film. And it is Crowe and him who are keeping the film alive, and even more than them the editor and the cinematographer, who have edited and shot the boxing scenes fantastically well, so that your guts will be wrenched out seeing those fights. Maybe only there was no need to do something very conventional and obvious, the showing of breaking of bones through xray visuals. Otherwise the fight choreography, the editing and the cinematography make for a heady combine. A great film !

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