The Boxer (1997) is a English movie. Jim Sheridan has directed this movie. Daniel Day-Lewis,Emily Watson,Daragh Donnelly,Frank Coughlan are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1997. The Boxer (1997) is considered one of the best Drama,Romance,Sport movie in India and around the world.
Nineteen-year-old Danny Flynn is imprisoned for his involvement with the I.R.A. in Belfast. He leaves behind his family and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Maggie Hamill. Fourteen years later, Danny is released from prison and returns to his old working class neighborhood to resume his life as a boxer, fighting and opening a boxing club training aspiring boxers. Maggie has since married Danny's best friend, who is also imprisoned for his I.R.A. activities. Although he has not denounced the I.R.A. or denigrated his I.R.A. colleagues, Danny has decided to live a life free of political violence. His boxing club is nonsectarian, open to both Catholics and Protestants. This move irks some of his old I.R.A. colleagues since they feel working with the Protestants will not resolve their David versus Goliath struggle. Danny's old I.R.A. colleagues, especially their unofficial leader Harry, resort to traditional tactics of violence to stop Danny. Maggie's father, Joe, also an I.R.A. activist, ...
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Jim Sheridan's films are always powerful. Shakespearian in their intensity of character conflict, they bristle with grit, are masterfully acted, and propel themselves the way John Ford's best films do. I consider him, even with his limited output, one of the great A list directors. No, his camera work isn't stunning crane and rail ballet, it's old school - but GREAT old school - Zinneman, Ford. And if you're a filmgoer who likes to care deeply about characters, Sheridan makes your kind of film. Acting doesn't get better or more truthful than Daniel Day Lewis and Emily Watson working together. They're absolutely believable - inspiring actually - as a couple struggling through forbidden love after 14 years apart. The dialogue they work with is A plus and written by Sheridan; thus it's probably tuned collaboratively during rehearsal. Very organic. Great (!) work by Gerard McSorley, Brian Cox (L.I.E.) and David Stott as Ike. Yep, Northern Ireland as Sheridan portrays it can be dreary, as commented here. But it's also full of humanity, drunkeness, hope, cruelty, love, loyalty, oppression, and a desperate longing for change - all the stuff of true drama. The action commences at the moment Ireland is on the cusp of real but fragile peace. Boxing and the IRA? A one two punch. I love this film and I'd watch it again with any friend who wanted to see an excellently written and played picture. If you want your blood to boil from some fine performers playing strongly written characters, check this out. Not quite "Elizabeth", but powerful. Good enough dramatically (albeit not quite visually) to sit on the same shelf with Raging Bull.
I think the reason this wasn't as well received as MY LEFT FOOT and IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER (the previous collaborations of Daniel Day-Lewis and Jim Sheridan) is this is telling a more complex tale, and while I loved both of those films, this one you have to work harder for. It should be said there are some lapses, particularly in the dialogue, which is often unnecessarily repeated. And sometimes, in his attempt not to play on our emotions too much, Sheridan goes too far in the opposite direction, making the film too distant. Still, this is a powerful film. Sheridan was accused with IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER with making an anti-British film, but in that one and this one, he shows he's not afraid of taking on his own people as well. At the same time, while his sympathies are with Day-Lewis' character, he's able to recognize all sides of the situation, as to emphasize the point that peace is always hard work. Day-Lewis, as usual, gives an outstanding performance, though he's a little too old, and Watson continues to grow as an actress with her performance.
I really liked this film for several reasons. Firstly, it dares to tell the story of ordinary people caught up in a conflict that they don't want to be a part of, and having their best hopes crushed. The script isn't written to be a crowd-pleaser. Secondly, the story and the style of narration is wonderfully subdued and lowkey, both fitting the story perfectly and allowing the viewer to really involve him/herself in the story and characters. Finally, the performances of Day-Lewis and Watson are very good. Day-Lewis lends great credibility to his character. He is no Mel Gibson or Harrison Ford rising again with a firm jaw after each blow, but rather a believable portrait of a man believing and wanting to do his best, but time and time again having his hopes crushed. But the real star performance of the film is by Watson. After "Breaking the Waves" I had written her off (sorry, but I tend to do that with people who have played in von Trier movies), but her performance in this film is simply outstanding. Her portrait of both pride, strength and vulnerability is amazing. 9 out of 10.
Sheridan's 'The Boxer' is far more complex than his other films like 'In The Name of The Father', 'My Left Foot' and 'In America'. The story revolves around a neighborhood of ordinary (and not-so-ordinary people) living in a troubled Northern Ireland. Sheridan successfully depicts the problem from both sides. One witnesses how difficult it is to lead a normal life in peace as this will be looked down upon and even used against you. The use of washed out colour gives a gloomy and depressing feel, and ironically also shows the weather. But, contradicting that Sheridan also skillfully portrays the love, devotion and hope of the people. Fine performances are almost always expected from Sheridan's films and here too the actors do an outstanding job. Daniel Day-Lewis is superb. His restraint reflects Danny's calm dignity and he is very convincing as the man who recognizes a second opportunity in life and tries to make the better of it. Emily Watson is sublime. Her quiet portrayal of Maggie's strength, pride, courage and vulnerability is spot on. Brian Cox is stupendous. Gerard McSorley proves again how wickedly good he can be when it comes to playing menacing characters. Ken Stott is excellent. I feel the reason why 'The Boxer' is so underrated and not as highly regarded as Sheridan's other films is because it's far more complicated than what they're used to seeing. However, in my opinion, this is just as effective as Scorsese's 'Raging Bull' and better than the likes of 'Rocky.
The Boxer is an excellent film in almost all its aspects. The acting is quite good across the board, especially Emily Watson and Brian Cox. The cinematography is often stunning, especially in the way it uses the cold and minimalist color palette. There's a palatable sense of tension that flows throughout the picture, made more taut by the various directing techniques used by Jim Sheridan. One technique is the shots from the helicopters that circle above Belfast, showing a community that is under siege and giving a greater perspective on what it's like to live in this part of the city. And there are three parts to the story, all of which work very well. There's the story of Danny's release from prison and his attempt to start a boxing club. There's the romance between him and Emily Watson, a romance that is forbidden by I.R.A. codes. And then there's the I.R.A. themselves, struggling to find peace but being broken apart from within by leaders of splinter factions. A very moving film (with a great score by Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer as well) and a film that really addresses the issues of neverending violence in a very direct and emotional way.