Warrior is a powerful movie. In fact it is so moving that it woke up the writer’s block in me and made me write this review of a movie in more than an year.
I had been wanting to watch this movie since it’s release a couple of years back. However, every time I made up my mind to watch it on DVD, I got turned off by the movie poster. I began to think of it to be yet another boxing movie with the same old story with the happy ending which you often see in the sports drama genre. On finally putting this movie in my laptop tray on a lonely Sunday afternoon, I found that the sport they show in it is not at all boxing but something called ‘mixed martial arts’. As the movie slowly progressed further, I found out that it isn’t even about mixed martial arts. In fact the sport is just a backdrop for an intense drama about two estranged brothers, their relationship with their father (which is not good), and their relationship with each other (which is worse).
It’s a story about two brothers: Tommy and Brendan. Brendan has a loving family, a beautiful house, great job as a teacher and his students love him. On the other hand his younger brother Tommy has only won in the ring so far in his life. Everywhere else he has been beaten to pulp. His family has been torn apart by his father, he watched his mother die, watched his close mates in the marines getting killed in friendly fire. He has been helpless in every situation that has arisen in his life. When he was called as a war hero for saving some marines from drowning during Iraq 2003 he isn’t pleased at all. The story about their father is equally worse. He left his family in shambles. His alcoholism and and abuse destroyed his family and left him to live alone.
Both the lead actors of the movie are non-Americans in an American setting. Tom Hardy playing Tommy is an Englishman and his brother Brendan in the film is played by Joel Edgerton who is an Aussie. I think ‘Warrior’ showcases the best of Tom Hardy so far. He has built on the fame he received for his performance in Inception in 2010 and has gone a step ahead with this production. His face is not full of determination to win and he is not full of hatred. On the contrary, he’s determined to lose and is full of pain. His expressions during the fight scenes were pretty realistic. I have never seen Joel Edgerton act before and I must say that he did a fantastic job switching between multiple roles- from being a family man to being a school teacher to being a fighter all in one movie. That’s an accomplishment! The American out of the trio – the father – Nick Nolte got an Academy Award nomination for his acting in the film. Throughout the film he remains on the back foot for being the most hated person. His character is sad, lonely, in deep regret, and is hated for what he once had been. Both the brothers despise him for what he did to them in their past. We do see him as a changed man in the end. A man finally seeing a ray of contentment in life.
The movie works on to the parallels of family drama and the raw fights and slowly builds into a pressure cooker of emotions which burst in the climax. It’s not a happy ending and it’s not even a sad ending. It’s more of a satisfying ending.
Before I close this review, a special mention for one of my favorite rock band – The National for the two of the most brilliant compositions by them: ‘Start A War’ at the start of the movie from their album ‘Boxer’ and ‘About Today’ composed for the film which fits right into the mood of the movie during the climax. My hats off to them for the little beauties.
You might shed more than a tear or two in the end.