WRITTEN BY SHINJON SANA
Symposia : 8.4/10
IMDb : 8.1/10
Metacritic : 86%
Rotten Tomatoes : 91%
Million-dollar baby…by no means does it sound like a movie encircling boxing. This isn’t just a regular boxing movie; it's not even about men. It's about Maggie Fitzgerald: a nobody who has nothing but her relationship with Frankie Dunn: a carefree coach who lacks purpose. It is a touching story which encompasses some torturous hardships for the protagonist and how she manages to surpass her limitations.
Maggie is played by Hillary Swank while Frankie is played by Clint Eastwood. Both of these actors delivered impeccable performances on screen. Hillary Swank truly embodies a working-class woman in Missouri. The toughness and grit she has from her demeaning job as a waitress reflects in her dedication to the sport. She has absolutely nothing to lose and she shows it. Every fight could be her last in the spotlight. Nonetheless, she carries out every single one with equal effort and an irreplaceable desire to do better than she did last time. Her coach on the other hand, is a much more gruff and emotionally detached person. However, he is enthralled by this woman. Her determination to the sport is utterly intoxicating and the relationship he builds with her is just wonderful to watch.
The movie has a commendable plot. While it may originate from the classic ‘rags to riches’ storyline, it is so much more than that. The plot is interwoven with many underlying emotions and feelings that many people choose to ignore. The fight scenes are not surfeiting nor unnecessarily violent. The choreography is great, and adds a layer of suspense to the film. Moreover, the theme in this movie is memorable and adds to the mood and atmosphere drastically. What truly sets ‘Million Dollar Baby’ apart from other films is the emotional appeal it gives to a regular person, and the theatrics. This movie is about someone who considers themselves as subordinate, yet does not give up on a possibility to be something more. It is about holding on to a glimpse of hope, no matter how small or how fleeting.
I personally believe many people could learn something by watching this film and thus, highly recommend it. It has some extremely heart-breaking scenes which go to show that life is not a dream and that success cannot be acquired without pain. This movie masterfully conveys an age-old message: you are the only person who controls your life. It's up to you whether you want to stick with what you have or if you desperately want something more.