I had to remind myself not to jump up and cheer Go Micky! while in the theater watching The Fighter today. I am not a boxing fan by any means, but for some reason when Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) was in the ring winning fights, I wanted to be there cheering right along with the crowd and his family. Especially in the last scene. Throw in that song from The Heavy and it was like “Oh my God, oh my God the Indians win it, the Indians win it!” from Major League.
The Fighter is a pretty simple story and very respectable since it is based on the real lives of boxing brothers Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale). I spent a lot of time thinking about the relationship between the brothers while watching the film. Dicky is toxic for Micky at times, but he is also his hero. I wondered if that heroism would rise above Dicky’s faults, but how could it not? Micky’s got his faults too and while he said he couldn’t continue on and work with his brother, they’re family, and that’s most important.
All the characters in this story have a love-hate relationship, really. They may seem to want what is best for themselves, but in reality they want what’s best for the person closest to them. Micky and Dicky want success for each other. Family matriarch Alice Ward (Melissa Leo) would throw a punch or two for her sons, but in the end sets aside trying to be Micky’s manager to really be his mother.
Micky’s girlfriend Charlene (Amy Adams) was just right. She was ringside all the time, but never let her own motives get entirely in the way of supporting Micky and eventually his family.
Her role exemplified that beneath the dysfunctional surface of Micky’s family was true support and love. She gives it all up temporarily, but Dicky brings her back. All for his brother.
Everyone is there who should be at Micky’s fight for the boxing title.
You’ll walk away with a win if you choose to see The Fighter. Maybe you won’t feel like jumping out of your seat, but you’ll know what I’m talking about.