Directed by Jim Sheridan
Running Time: 1:53
M.P.A.A. Rating: R
The Boxer is a hard movie to describe. Daniel Day Lewis plays Danny Flynn, a former boxer (hence the title) and Irish Republican Army member. 14 years ago, when he was only 18 years old, he was sent to prison for his IRA activities. While in prison, he broke all ties with the IRA, not associating with any of the other IRA members in prison. When he is released, he heads back to his home, where everyone knows about him turning his back on the IRA, and in this neck of the woods, that's not a good thing to do. On top of it, his girlfriend when he was arrested, played by Emily Watson, is still there, now with a son. She's married to a prisoner as well, and in this town, that is sacred. Having an affair with a prisoner's wife can get you killed. So they have an affair (of sorts) while he tries to end the conflict in his own way, by setting up a boxing camp in the community center. I found it somewhat ironic that he was trying to stop a war by boxing, which is the most brutal sport out there. So the movie is about his fight to get the woman he loves, and to stop the conflict and violence in his town.
Let me first say, I'm a big fan of Daniel Day Lewis. I don't remember when he last made a bad movie. And his last movie with director Jim Sheridan, In the Name of the Father is still one of my all time favorites. All that being said, this movie was somewhat predictable. It was certainly well acted, the supporting cast was especially strong, but the story was too simplistic. Two people who shouldn't be together because everyone else says they shouldn't, fight to be together. One man doesn't like all the violence, so he tries to bring people together through (fill in the blank), in this case, boxing. Don't get me wrong, this is still a good movie to see. I don't know a lot about the politics of the situation in Ireland, and from that perspective I think The Boxer helped me to understand why. And of course Lewis and Watson are exceptional actors and are great in their roles. But in order for this movie to have been great, it needed a stronger plot. Still, I'd go see it again, but that's just me.