‘The Fighter’ is a knockout

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By Shardai Perry / Features Editor

By Shardai Perry / Features Editor

Viewers will definitely be fighting for a seat to see “The Fighter,” directed by David O. Russell and starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo.


Three reasons why it’s worth $11: One, the majority of the time Walhberg and Bale have their shirts off, or Adams is showing off those beautiful shoulders and tasteful midriff. Two, just about everyone loves watching a good fight, and three, anything based off a true story is worth watching at least once.


“The Fighter” is inspired by a true story based on two brothers and their love for boxing.


Bale, who plays older brother Dickey, is a boxer turned trainer who yearns for the spotlight again but is defeated by his crack addiction.


Wahlberg plays younger brother Mickey, who has lived in his brother’s shadow since he was a young boy, and battles his urge to break free of his family’s hold and claim the world light welterweight title.


This movie is more than your typical “rise and fall” cookie cutter inspirational story; the actors took the script and made it their life. As an attendee at the press junket for the movie, I was privileged enough to join in on roundtable interviews and ask the actors and director questions regarding the film.


The first question I asked to all of the actors was how they prepared for the role. Amazingly enough they began transforming into the characters years before they began filming.


“Only after three and a half years did I feel confident enough to actually be believable to be the lightweight boxing champion,” Wahlberg said.


Wahlberg, a Boston native, had to reclaim his accent in preparation for taking the role of Mickey.


“The accent was another thing, for so many years people were telling me to lose my accent, but for this movie I had to get it back,” Wahlberg said.


For Bale, “The Fighter” made a big physical transformation in his life. Bale lost one-third of his body weight and cut his hair even before going into production.


“There’s no secret in my weight loss. I was committed, it felt so good playing Dickey, sometimes I would just run for hours I felt so healthy,” Bale said.


More than just Bale’s commitment made his role in the movie outstanding, it was the level of realism he added to his character.


“This movie wouldn’t exist without the beautiful relationship between the two brothers,” Bale said.


The movie would have been incomplete without its leading ladies: Amy Adams plays Charlene, the love interest of Mickey, and Melissa Leo, who portrayed Alice, the mother of Mickey and Dickey.


Both of these women’s transformation from the usual commercial type roles to the hardcore edge they instilled in their characters was a definite appeasable moment.


Director Russell spoke on his reasoning for the choice of character.


“I knew Melissa was eager to break character, she wanted something different, I knew she would be perfect for Alice,” Russell said.


“It was everything put into it, they’d cut my hair and David wanted it shorter, so they would cut it again. He just knew what he wanted,” Leo said.


Adams felt that Russell was a huge inspiration in her character.


“David believing in me was half the battle,” Adams said.


Adams’ took her role as Charlene to the next level


“I took a couple boxing lessons and did the choreography but it was more so about not being afraid to hurt someone, I wasn’t worried about getting hurt myself,” Adams said.


Russell didn’t do it alone though; Wahlberg actually played a big part in producing this production.


“It was sheer desperation to just get the movie made, I just had to grab a hold of it and get it done,” Wahlberg said.


There was a lot of time, love and patience put into finishing this movie.


“There are scenes in the movie that I still can’t talk about without getting choked up and that’s what happens when you work on something for so long that’s so close to you,” Russell said.


For Wahlberg, this movie hit pretty close to home.


“I was in a lot of trouble, and then I turned my life around. I love this movie, I would do anything to get it done and support it,” Wahlberg said.


I would have to agree with Wahlberg; I absolutely love this film. If it can win the vote of your typical nineteen year old tennis and guitar playing girly girl, it can win just about anyone’s vote.


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