Review: Wahlberg, Bale starrer ‘The Fighter’ is a gripping drama

Spicezee Bureau

If you are a big fan of extreme sports and a worshipper of ‘Rocky’ series and ‘Raging Bull’, you simply can’t afford to miss Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale starrer ‘The Fighter’, a moving tale of a boxer trying to make it big both in and out of the boxing ring.

A David O Russell film, in ‘The Fighter’, Wahlberg plays welterweight Irish boxer Micky Ward, who rose from his modest roots to win a title shot in 2000, when he was nearly in his mid-thirties, while Bale plays his older half-brother Dicky Eklund, a colorful, self-destructive former boxer and coach to his sibling and a crack addict.

If Micky is quiet and disciplined, Dicky is lean, chatty and a lovable wreck, whose claim to fame is pinning down Sugar Ray Leonard in the late 1970s. He is a joyous figure, who can be hilarious, outrageous at the same time.

‘The Fighter’ is a genuine portrait of working-class family, with Melissa Leo playing Micky and Dicky`s boozy, domineering mother, Alice Ward, and Amy Adams as Micky`s gritty girlfriend, Charlene, who pushes her beau to realise his dream.

A highly charged drama, the movie has brief boxing matches with hard close up of ringside action, without the melodramatic flourishes of many boxing films.

The movie focuses on the complicated relationship of Micky, Dicky and Alice, where Micky declares that his family led him into danger in the ring.

Even as the split between half-brothers is the highlight of film, the soul of ‘The Fighter’ comes from the fierce love and attachment these two men hold for each other even when estranged.

A highly electrifying film, in ‘The Fighter’ Christian Bale is as nerve-racking as Heath Ledger was in ‘The Dark Knight’.

Undoubtedly, ‘The Fighter’ is Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale’s tour de force.

Ratings: Four cheers for this one!