Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cinderella Man (2005)

An inspirational film by the same director, Ron Howard, who brought us A Beautiful Mind. Cinderella Man is an incredible tale based on a true story about a champion boxer who stood strong against many trials and tribulations. James Braddock is our hero, a up-and-coming boxer who, because of a streak of bad luck, lost the ability to participate in boxing matches.

The determination displayed by James Braddock, the protagonist, is nothing short of legendary. Even at the face of pure desperation, he never stooped to stealing or robbing. Both James Braddock and his wife were truly made for each other, both were very understanding on their situation and they never fought with each other despite the obvious frustrations that each party had. Instead, they each gave their counterparts the support they needed. After James had lost his license to boxing due to a broken wrist, he did manual labor to sustain his family despite his injury. When James was given a second chance to participate in a boxing match, he made full use of it and managed to crawl from the hole of poverty. During his following boxing matches, he displayed a fearless and unwavering will that struck fear in his opponents and inspired the country's people. When everyone was giving in to the Great Depression, this man never gave up and fought with all he got even after being beaten down again and again. James eventually became the shining hope for the country's poor people in the darkness of the Great Depression and soon everyone was rooting for him. This film is a very inspiring film that shows one man's impeccable will to survive and sustain his family.

The only problems I had with this film was that Ron Howard changed a few facts that discriminated a particular boxer, which I felt was not very fair and left no room for ambiguity. It was obvious Howard wanted us to feel sorry for James but I believe he should not have changed a few facts that could be interpreted as a morale boost for James.

The actors, Russell Crowe as James Braddock and Paul Giamatti as James Braddock's manager, Joe Gould, delivered stellar performances. I have always been a fan of Russell Crowe and he didn't let me down on this one either. The soundtrack, camera work and choreographed fights were equally beautiful.

I personally give this film a 8/10.

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