Million Dollar Baby


Had the chance to see the Movie on its day of release in Bangalore at the Innovative Multiplex. Of course, after a hard 25 minute drive through light drizzle and multiple potholes and the ever challenging traffic on our roads, I got to miss the first 30 minutes of the movie.

Fortunately, I got in at the part where Frankie (Clint Eastwood) agrees to train Maggie (Hilary Swank), a waitress determined to be a boxer and take her chance... at the title. Eddie (Morgan Freeman) is the Mr. Fix-it, the boxer who's been there, done it and lost an eye too !
Maggie struggles like a punching bag without any stuffing when she gets to try out a new trainer, before Frankie steps back in and then the Knock outs begin!

Once Maggie gets into training, the movie becomes a visual musical. Her well toned body and the glint of determination in her eyes keep your eyes open and gets your heart thumping to the rythm. The punches fly, the feet move and Hilary Swank, coming a long way from 'The Karate Kid' days gives you a treat.

Clint Eastwood portrays to perfection a man who sees potential in the girl and probably sees in her the daughter who has left him. He has his own demons to fight and Maggie wants to fight all the fighters. The fear of losing her seems to hold back Frankie from going all out. The fights go on, and Maggie wins them all. then it is time for the BIG one, the title match against 'Billy'- the dirtiest player of them all.

While the sweat drips, the punches fly, there is an undercurrent of emotional attachment between the trainer and his ward, and the growing detachment between the ward and her family which leads on to the emotional climax of the movie.

Without giving away too much, lemme just say that the ending tends to depress and sadden. (No wonder it got nominated and won a few Oscars ! Which is the last 'happy' movie that you remember that got the Oscars? probably the Sound of Music? Huh ? that was quite a while ago)

Memorable Dialogue-Eddie to Frankie, " Most people live regretting not having got that chance, but Maggie, she got her chance". ( this is as I remember it!)
Clint Eastwood is an A-Class director and those of you who disagree probably have'nt seen 'Unforgive' and 'The Mystic river' (Will be covered in the Video Blog). Hilary Swank does a great job with little nuances and gestures without being overdramatic. Those well toned arms and rippling muscles keep the eyes glued to her all through the fights.

Definitley a movie worth watching at least once. Of course, I will be buying the DVD/VCD once its out !

5 comments:

lata April 5, 2005 at 12:13 AM  

The blogger definitely seems to be more in love with Hillary Swank's toned body than her acting skills!!!

Ved April 8, 2005 at 4:17 AM  

The Blogger deifinitely admires the sight of Hilary Swank's toned body and is even more a fan of her acting skills.

But, then what better a movie where she is, with a swanky bod !

Rober De Nero said,' For a role, you start working feet upwards'. Watch Raging Bull !

Ved April 8, 2005 at 4:17 AM  

The Blogger deifinitely admires the sight of Hilary Swank's toned body and is even more a fan of her acting skills.

But, then what better a movie where she is, with a swanky bod !

Rober De Nero said,' For a role, you start working feet upwards'. Watch Raging Bull !

Ved April 8, 2005 at 4:17 AM  

The Blogger deifinitely admires the sight of Hilary Swank's toned body and is even more a fan of her acting skills.

But, then what better a movie where she is, with a swanky bod !

Rober De Nero said,' For a role, you start working feet upwards'. Watch Raging Bull !

lata April 8, 2005 at 4:34 AM  

I happened to see 'Million Dollar Baby' and I must say that it did not move me as much as our desi 'Black' did. Yes, I do agree that Clint Eastwood is a master filmmaker who has woven a story based on one life-changing incident in the ordinary life of a plain-looking rustic woman who wanted to be extraordinary and achieve greatness in her own way. But the technical brilliance of Ravi Chandran in 'Black' remains totally unsurpassed and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's extraction of the extraordinary performance from young Ayesha Kapur will not be matched by most Hollywood directors.
Simply put - 'Million Dollar Baby' did not touch my soul - the unplugging of oxygen supply and the swift euthanasia committed bu Clint Eastwood in the quiet and darkness of the night did not make me feel for Hillary Swank. The last few moments of her life could have been taken better - he could have brought in more emotion to the whole process rather than portray it as a swift act that was forgotten by sunrise.

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