A Good Bold Deed.
Eastwood makes it look easy. It’s as simple as that, over the years, watching him blend in, in all sorts of genre there never seems any doubt how much he adores the cinema. There is mutual love and respect, if there is sincerity in Eastwood’s methods, the response is equally charming. Magnanimous is his vision and is exactly what he gets. But above all what fascinates me the most is how he reserves his persona on both on and off screen, I hardly remember yelling him ever on screen, Freeman had to jump in and point out, “You think she can hear you from here?” The answer is yes. She does; she may not follow it but she does.
The cathartic equation of this trio is the root of the film. With humor as slick as their body language- few lines from Baruchel doesn’t fit in appropriately though- and flamboyancy on their rhythm that makes you scream for its awesomeness, it makes you want to warp back to your childhood days, never has someone loved something such unconditionally. It is for all the drama we crave for, we are not aware of where it can take us, but somehow we have been craving for it.
This has never been a sports genre for me, I couldn’t care less about those knockout punches, I am waiting for Swank to go back to her corner and tangle more with Eastwood’s vision. Haggis- the screenwriter- has written a complete script, swooping in all the drama or even humor- that you might think isn’t essential to the storytelling- “forming a circle” gets a whole new definition. With an incredibly intense narration by Freeman, few poetic lines are the least bit of metaphor you are going to get, the real content is hidden beneath those questions that he keeps asking us; a smart move by the writer as it factors a lot on advancing the storytelling.
And mind you, Freeman is not just a narrator, everyone gets one last shot (Eastwood gets Swank’s dream and Swank gets her family) in this film and you cannot exclude him from it. Swank, the one that dares to dream, is confidently appealing on her terms, her bizarre fascination of ending a fight within first round, her petty questions and neglecting the orders constantly, is the window which she never lets go of.
Eastwood as her father figure grows more than that you can aspire for. Yes, it was anticipated that their chemistry would be the heart of the film but to extend this friendship on such a scale still melts me down; Mo Cuishle he calls her. The first training that he gives her where he snatches the punching bag and then shuts her down only to regret it later and give her that punching back again; that bit itself says a lot about the film. Call it a trash talk or flirt talk, their conversations are brimmed with humor that makes you weep hard than it makes you tickle, those moments are Million Dollar Baby.