Projections - Movie Reviews

The Boxer

Moving like a man possessed, Danny Flynn (Daniel Day-Lewis) is the main character in a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.  The backdrop of Belfast, Ireland and the "troubles" between Catholics and Protestants, force each of the characters to respond to past sins, relatives, neighbors and the opposite side.

When released from prison after 14 years, Danny is determined to return to boxing and create a place in the battle torn city where kids and adults from both sides can come together in peace and entertainment.  He carefully avoids his past love, Maggie (Emily Watson), who married after he entered prison and is now a prisoner's wife.  These wives are held in high esteem and are untouchable by all other men in the community.

Maggie is still in love with Danny and, after avoiding each other for a short period of time, she is compelled to visit him.  Dressed in ordinary clothing and with little make up, she nonetheless permeates sensuality when she enters his room.  Their love, her son's image of Danny based on the gossip, and her father's position as the leader of the IRA place them in a position where only tragedy can come of their relationship.  It does not take very long for the violent faction of the IRA to rear its head and attempt to poison Danny and Maggie's relationship and kill any hope for peace.

Danny stays and fights, both in the ring and peacefully bringing the divided community together, all the while cautiously seeing Maggie who is not breaking her vows of loyalty to her imprisoned husband.

The Boxer is filled with powerful performances.  Day-Lewis is a remarkable actor.  He is extraordinarily comfortable in each of his varying roles.  Brian Cox's character shows the worry and exhaustion of his years of leadership in the IRA and the pressures of peace.  Ken Stott plays Ike Weir, a drunk who comes back to reality when Danny returns.  The pain of the years of hate and violence, visibly wear on him.  Gerard McSorley has the pivotal role of the rebel who can not put down his weapons.  He has become a bully and is destined to be destroyed by not following his leader's peace initiative.  And a unique performance is turned in by 14 year old Ciaran Fitzgerald as Maggie's son.

Jim Sheridan's The Boxer is a film that should not be missed.

It is rated R for violence and language.

The Boxer


Home | Search | Reviewer Bios | Links | Mail Us
Copyright © 2005 Projections