June 30, 2012

Million Dollar Baby

It's a Hilary Swank night for me. I just saw P.S. I Love You (http://mrfilmreviewer.blogspot.com/2012/06/ps-i-love-you.html) and now, I've just finished Million Dollar Baby. I don't even know where to begin with this movie. It's over-the-top that it's hard to pick a starting point that will eventually lead to a review, or just a simple commentary, that will do the film justice. Allow me to just introduce the movie first. Million Dollar Baby was an award winning movie released in 2004. It was directed and co-produced by Clint Eastwood. The screenplay was written by Paul Haggis, based on the short stories of F.X. Toole. It starred Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman. Additional fun fact, Eastwood also created the original score of the movie. He really is a man of many talents.

Let me just start by saying this movie was extraordinary. It's one of the best movies I've seen ever. The actors were all excellent, the directing was excellent, the cinematography was excellent, the screenplay was excellent. Everything was perfect, and it's truly a flawless movie. I wouldn't be able to find any fault even if I tried. That's how magical this movie was for me. It's a strong narrative, and the the way they transformed it to this movie made it even more powerful. It was a wonderful narration of a life of a simple person who had a big dream, and a person who helped her achieve it.

The relationship of Mr. Dunn (Eastwood) and Maggie (Swank) was definitely the core of the movie. It's something to appreciate, and probably be jealous about. It's a bond that was so strong and so complicated, there's nothing left to do but be left in awe by it. Watching how they started their relationship, and how it ended was amazing and devastating at the same time. Mr. Dunn was a brilliant coach who didn't attain a level of success appropriate for his skills and wisdom. Maggie was a waitress who wanted nothing more than to fight and make something of herself. The two,as opposite as they were, began building an unexpected partnership after overcoming the initial hiccups. As the movie progressed, their characters also grew and became dynamic. These two just became two of my favorite characters of all time.

One thing I liked about sports movies is how inspiring they always are. It's always a success story how a person emerges victorious after a series of obstacles and downfalls. It's always how an unlikely person, often weak and initially incapable, would evolve into an achiever, a victor. There's always a different plot for every sport, but it always ran along the same lines. Million Dollar Baby was the movie that broke all the conventions, all the prerequisites for a typical sports movie. It was still a success story, i still had an unlikely protagonist, and the journey was still filled with bumps only to be surpassed by the protagonist. But at the same time, the movie was also different in various ways. It had different dynamics, different elements, and an ending that would leave the audience finding the right words to say.

It's probably one of the most depressing movies I've seen. Also, one of the best. It was really emotionally charged and it's a drama movie that will trigger every possible emotion in a human body. There were joys, there were tears, there's anger, there's excitement, there's a sense of pride, and a sense of vulnerability. All these placed in a capsule, waiting to be digested by the viewers.

Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her Role as Maggie Fitzgerald. I distinctly remember watching it and asking who she was. Then my sister rented (yeah that was still a thing then) Boys Don't Cry and I was immediately drawn to her. She has that quality that commands attention. Her talent then makes sure she maintains that attention. Morgan Freeman's voice was made for narrating beautiful stories. His narration here reminded me a lot of his narrating in The Shawshank Redemption. He knows how to breathe into his words that his voice is acting as well. He's a great actor and he, as always, delivered an amazing performance here. Clint Eastwood is an institution himself in the film industry. He has contributed a lot to the industry, as an actor, as a producer, and most of all, as an actor. The way he attacks every single role, the way he directs a movie, everything he does (as far as I'm concerned) exudes perfection.

It's a definite must see. The movie was nothing short of perfection and a movie I would remember for a long, long time. It's the kind of movie that leaves a lasting impression, leaves a mark on your soul (I know that sounded cheesy). I don't know how else to put it. It's a magnificent, brilliant movie that moves you and touches you and invites you to take part in the development of the story. I know I always find the movies I watch good and amazing. I am very easy to please, and I do always end up appreciating the movies I see. This one's a bit different though as it's a masterpiece. It's a privilege to have seen the movie and I want to thank Clint Eastwood for taking the time to make this, and for sharing it to the world. I don't know what else to say. Watch it, and you'll understand exactly how I feel now.

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