As promised, here are my thoughts on The Boxer (1997)
Directed by Jim Sheridan
Written by Terry George and Jim Sheridan
Starring The Great Daniel Day Lewis
and Ken Stott
This is one of the few films I rented and ended up buying the day after.
Its probably the best depiction of life in Northern Ireland and channels some of the best Irish dialects I've ever heard in a film.
*At times I had to switch on the english subtitles just to understand what they were saying.
The Boxer is the story of Danny Flynn, an IRA recruit that gets locked up after a very common attack on the British government.
Over a decade later, Danny is released and not just from prison, but from his loyalty to the organization.
He decides its a life that was never worth living, a battle that was never worth fighting.
To specify that change of heart, Danny goes back to the source.
He returns home by crossing the sniper guarded gates that lead into IRA turf and plants a flag that challenges the very same men he was locked up to protect.
Naturally, Danny is not welcomed the way one would expect.
He isn't regarded as a soldier coming home, but instead as a traitor to the cause - a cause that spills innocent blood everyday of the week.
The first score Danny settles is with the man who taught him the one skill nobody could incarcerate him from ---> Boxing.
Ike Weir (Stott) had been training Danny since he was a young lad.
Once Danny fell victim to the promises of glory from going to war with the British, Ike took up a new sport by drinking in record numbers.
The two men realize that despite the conflict outside, there was always room for hope in the ring.
With unclarified permission from the Outfit's main man Joe Hamill (Cox), Danny and Ike rebuild the old gym and begin to attract all kinds of attention - both political and dangerous.
But in between the jumping rope, the shadow boxing, the speed bag, Danny is stirring up an even bigger pot.
His old flame, the woman he lost to "The Cause" lurks around the gym, watching him, expecting him to clear the air with her.
Maggie Hamill (Watson) isn't just the Boss' daughter, she's the wife of yet another man locked up for the sins of a blurry rebellion.
To add to that, she is the mother to that man's son.
The two embark on a quest to be together, a quest that the rest of the neighborhood regards as blasphemy.
Harry (McSorley), the monster of the film, the man who sacrificed his son to the cause, makes his mission to punish Danny for returning home and for being free.
A war ensues within the walls of this "unified" front, between a man fighting for love and a man fighting for war.
This film was a joy to watch.
The pace is subtle and quiet. Story prevails over action. Character develops through stillness.
Very few films today have the intelligence to provide you with an intro as exciting as its climax.
This film has that and its not done to make you jump, its there to make you feel the story, to make you live it.
I understand the message that was conveyed here. The question it was asking.
What is real freedom?
Check this one out when you get a chance.