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Friday, 7 August 2015

Southpaw Review

Southpaw is a boxing term that designates the stance where the boxer has his right hand and right foot forward, leading with right jabs, and following with a left cross right hook.
Southpaw Review – This generation’s Rocky? Well almost but not quite.
Perfect life....well, almostttttt.....
Billy "The Great" Hope (Jake Gyllenhall) is on the top of the boxing world as the reigning Junior Middleweight Boxing Champion. Growing up in the ‘system’ (that’s foster care), he meets his wife, Maureen (Racheal McAdams) from the same place and together they have a lovely daughter, Leila (Oona Laurence) and lead happy life. The fame and fortune is however is not easily attained because every time Billy enters the ring, Maureen is faced with the nightmare of getting back a whacked up husband. Her concern grows strong after Billy’s last fight almost caused him to lose his left eye. She puts on a strong word to his manager to back out from another fight. Just when things seem to go well, an unfortunate circumstance turns Billy’s world upside down. Frustrated, angry and grief-stricken, Billy gets into trouble with the law that takes Leila away from him. Billy has to prove that he can be a good father to her. Left with no choice, Billy finds solace by joining a gym and starts his training back with the guide of Tick Willis (Forest Whitaker). Another opportunity appears for Billy to regain his lost reputation. With the world appeared to go against him, can Billy take control of his life once again? 
Can you take the punch? 
Jake has always played supporting roles before this so it was nice to see him stepping up to the ring-pun intended as the main character. He does justice to the part as a boxer, husband and father. Despite the short screen time, Rachael also shines as much as possible before she gets ‘taken away’. The breakout performance however is the young Laurence as Leila, who acts beyond her years in the film's most tender moments. Forrest enters the movie late but brings his charm as usual to the big screen. As for the storyline, it’s fairly predictable yet entertaining. The fight parts left me achy. Every blow to the face with blood oozing can be painful to look at sometimes, so if you are squeamish, heed this warning. Take note of the music as it’s by the recently departed, James Horner, perhaps this will be his swansong.    
One more chance for redemption. 

Moral of the story from this flick is in-your-face, how to get back up once life knocks you down. One can either wallow in the past or get up and get going stronger than ever once again.   

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