Movie Review: ‘Southpaw’ – Never underestimate the power of pain!

Movie Review: ‘Southpaw’ – Never underestimate the power of pain!

Yvonne Williams

“The more you get hit, the harder you fight”- Southpaw’s message literally, plain and simple. Life lesson 101: When your seemingly stronger challenger comes at you hurling punches, you don’t just give up; you go back to the drawing board and restrategise! Tap into the pain and absorb, let anger become your driving tool but it mustn’t overtake you; you channel it towards studying your opponent and when you get back in that ring, you knock him down flat! Now that’s the sweet taste of pain and revenge!

‘Southpaw’ opens and we are introduced to Light Heavy Weight Champion Billy Hope aka “Billy the Great” (Academy award nominee – Jake Gyllenhaal) and he’s got a pretty fulfilled life; Wealth, an enviable career, gorgeous wife (Rachel McAdams) who’s got his back like no other and an adorable daughter Leila (Oona Laurence) but cliché comes to play once again in “Southpaw” as Drake’s “started from the bottom now we’re here” kind of storyline seems to resonate in the background.

One almost beautiful day and Billy’s perfect world comes crashing down in a fit of rage. What happens when he comes face to face with the very architect of his downfall; an overzealous new shot who would do whatever it takes to dethrone the reigning champion? Will the undisputed champion stand firm and regain his crown? Is pain enough for redemption???

Billy Hope’s got experience, accuracy, discipline and revenge in his veins pushing him through and Miguel Escobar’s got strength, guts and quickness working for him; two power forces, one stage and one belt, who would wear the crown???

Right from the very beginning “Southpaw” does an amazing job with intrigue and suspense. Although its underlying plot is all too familiar, nonetheless, this emotional sport dram film pulls it off with its impressive cast and powerful delivery. Starring as the film’s protagonist is a deliciously ripped unfamiliar (as he transformed his physique to pull off the role) Jake Gyllenhaal (Billy Hope), who undeniably delivered a magnetic performance; his commitment towards bringing realism to his character cannot but be applauded, going beyond physical transformation to bring actual believability in his role. When on set, we almost forget he’s got a gorgeous face as he embraces the role of a fighter.

Commendably, Southpaw boasts brilliant actors; Rachel McAdams who delivers effortlessly, Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker establishes himself once again as a true actor, doing trainers proud in the boxing world and Oona Laurence, a star in the making and one who should be looked out for indeed, not forgetting 50 Cents.

‘Southpaw’  undeniably  holds audience bound till it draws the blinds; it’s engaging, emotion laden, compelling and one hell of a sport film which does justice to boxing in the world of sports!  Brilliant watch!

The script was written by Kurt Sutter and directed by Antoine Fuqua. It stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, 50 Cent and Miguel Gomez.

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Happenings Media