The Fighter

Posted: October 17th, 2013





The Fighter

The Fighter is a movie featuring Oscar Award winner Christian Bale known as Dickey in the movie and his half brother known as Mickey Ward whose real name is Mark Wahlberg. The movie is based on a true story about a boxer who had suffered several constant defeats in the ring. It revolves around Mickey who has suffered disillusionment because of his constant losses. The movie further entails of the help Mickey received from his younger and half brother Dickey who helped train and gave him the necessary motivation in training (Netflix). The movie draws in the viewer by giving clear illustration of loses and what it means to fall and to get back on your feet (Bradshaw, 7). In essence, an inspirational movie is produced to give the viewer hope about issues in the society. It gives a clear illustration of how people change when people we perceive as our friends change and become pessimistic about our own successes. In addition, it emphasizes the need for firm family relationships in the society because family is what helps people in times of calamity and need. The movie is a show of resilience in the midst of problems both personal and societal. In addition the movie shows internal conflicts in the life of Mickey as he contemplates to join the sport or never to enter the ring after he almost loses his arm (Netflix).

In the movie Mickey is loyal to Dicky and has to preserve getting constant attention from his sisters and an over controlling mother who wants to control every aspect of his career. Mickey has to contend with the presence of his brother Dicky who is addicted to cocaine ‘crack’ .Dicky was once a fighter ten years before a and managed to knock down Sugar Ray Leonard in the ring during a bout ten years before. Dicky can longer fight anymore because of is addiction to crack but his skills and knowledge proves to be vital to the aid of Mickey who suffers constant defeats to other fighters. The relationship of the two brothers shows the presence of deep trust, respect and love amongst the two, which enables them to foster a great bond that people seem not to understand. However, their relationship does not lack rough patches, which is usual for any healthy relationship among people (Bradshaw, 17).

Mickey Ward has to contend with several personal issues, which he experiences during his career as a boxer. After several bouts, he experiences problems with his hand such that he develops problems with the function of his arm (Scott, 7). He works on his day job working as a road paver in his home town of Lowell. Unemployment is a source of agony for him because he lacks a decent job to enable him to cater for his personal and family needs. He has to raise money for operation for his arm from his day job to fund the surgery. After a successful surgery, which uses bone structure from his pelvis? After he gains the ability to fight again after his brother who had been released from prison for drug possession convinces him to take up the sport once again despite the risk of losing function of his entire arm. After his return to the ring, he is able to win several fights (IMDB).

The movie is a clear depiction of the social inequities that are persistent in the Lowell community. People have varying lifestyles across the country. Some are living in abject poverty barely surviving due to their financial woes. Whereas others have access to the best public facilities in the country owing to their financial might. In addition, the social inequities contribute to the marginalization of the Lowell community on the basis that the people are poor and drugs addicts. Moreover the aspect of drug use prevents companies setting up shop in the area for fear of being robbed thus the inadequate jobs which people like Mickey desperately need. If Mickey lived in a community that had access to ample employment he would not have undergone the difficult financial circumstances and the thought of engaging in boxing after almost losing the use of his arm.

The movie exercises several societal themes present in the life of the brothers as well as the society. The theme of poverty is evident throughout the movie. This is depicted by the presence of faded houses where Mickey during his work paves roads outside similar houses in the neighborhood of the community of Lowell (Scott, 11). In addition, the lack of a good job prompts Mickey to take up a job to sustain himself and his family and enable him to pay for surgery for his ailing arm. Mickey experiences humiliation as he works paving the roads yet he is an experienced and gifted fighter. He sweats heavily from the heat of the tar under the midday scorching sun. His humiliation is drawn to the whole family as his community considers them as a group of misfits after his brother becomes an addict yet he is a talented boxer.

Moreover, this is coupled by the numerous defeats that Mickey suffers such that he is on the verge of giving up entirely and contemplates never getting involved in any math in his life. However, he is convinced by his brother to take up the sport again. The community in which Mickey and his brother live is full of cocaine or ‘crack’ dens, which have consumed majority of the young people in the community, are addicted to the use of cocaine including his half brother Dicky. This is a clear indication of the level of poverty as people resort to the sale of drugs to make end meet. In addition, it is an indication of the level of unemployment such that young people resort to the use of the addictive drugs to pass time.

The family is contending with issues that affect them as present in any functional family. Mickey is persuaded by his girlfriend to continue with his boxing career whereas he considers keeping his family happy by not engaging in the sport after numerous defeats and a surgery to the arm. His demoralized self is a clear indication of the influence that the issues around him have had in his life. In a society that is characterized by people who consider themselves as failures also contributes to his demoralized self. However despite all the challenges him and his family face they show the viewer the presence of real values in a family. For instance despite Dicky’s drug addiction, Mickey still loves his brother more  as their relationship grows during the time Dicky offers to help his brother train(Bradshaw, 27). This is a clear show that the existence of love among people in a community can manage to change people’s lives and transform them into different or new individuals.

In conclusion, the movie shows the need for resilience in a society marred by difficult problems both personal and communal. Mickey is able to thrive in the sport after constant humiliation in the ring and demoralizing events such as the arrest of his brother, his constant drug use, and the financial difficulties that are present in his family. The inner conflicts of Mickey’s life gives him a hard time in deciding what to do with his life as he struggles to support his family but support from his brother Dicky and the enduring girlfriend convince him in making a decision about whether to rejoin the boxing arena.

The Fighter does not generally illustrate about the actual fights of Mickey Ward but is an illustration of a man in a fight with the struggles that he faces in the society and the inner fight with his own thoughts and principles. In addition he fights with his desire to fight or to leave the sport for good. Moreover Mickey fights with the thought of his brother being addicted to drugs which infuriates and demoralizes him due to the perception that his family is a failure owing to the tough circumstances that they have been brought up under.




















Works cited

The Fighter .Dir.David O. Russell. Perf. Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale. Paramount Pictures, 2010. DVD.

Netflix. The Fighter. February 11 2011. Web. March 8 2012. <http:// Fighter /70113534? trkid=496624>

IMDB.The Fighter (2010). January 4 2011. Web. March 8 2012. <>

Scott, A. O. Guys, Kiss Mom and Come Out Fighting. December 9, 2010

Bradshaw, Peter. August 23 2012. Web. March 8 2012. 3 February 2011



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