Southpaw.

I am partial to southpaws.  The very first one in my life was and is my 15 months younger brother Arvind.  The next one to come into my life very much later, actually 27 years later, is my son Ranjan.

Arvind was born at a time when it was considered to be bad luck or whatever to be a southpaw so he became ambidextrous.  Despite that however, he prefers his left hand and that was one of the surprises that he would produce during the fisticuffs that he and I inevitably got involved with in in our youth.

Ranjan was born in more enlightened times and so did not have to become ambidextrous. And to the best of my knowledge, he did not have quite the same kind of youth where scores were settled by fisticuffs.

Arvind and I also became reasonably accomplished boxers among other misguided things that we accomplished or failed to.  And that brings me to why I chose to go to the movies earlier this afternoon.

Southpaw_poster

The movie’s name Southpaw and description in the advertisement for it in the newspaper did it for me.  One, the title itself and the other, that it was all about a boxer and the film’s obsession with boxing itself.  I am partial to movies about boxing and boxers, as my readers would remember from my earlier reviews of movies with boxing in them.

The film does not have any recognisable to me,  name in it other than Forest Whitaker.  The other two factors however, persuaded me to take a chance.  So, I dragged my rather uninterested partner in crime Ramesh to see it and the uninterested friend became very interested as the story started unfolding.  And for me,  it was an unforgettable experience.

This is a film on a boxer’s story unlike any other that I have seen.  A simple story, well told and presented by all the actors involved under some very tight direction and editing. Excellent soundtrack and photography adds icing on the cake and two hours pass in a blur and you leave the theater wanting to see more of the story to unfold in a sequence.

Obviously, the weekend crowds have spread the word around and despite some lackluster promotion of the film, for instance, I did not see any trailer for it, the auditorium was almost full.  Very surprising for a Monday afternoon show.  I too now join the word of mouth promoters of the film and via this blog post, give it a full [rating=6] rating.  Don’t miss it if you like stories about boxers and boxing.

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14 Responses to Southpaw.

  1. tammy j says:

    the marine is a southpaw.
    actually he’s ambidextrous. i’m partial to them too!
    one of my favorite movies is … ‘indiscreet’ with cary grant and ingrid bergman. in it they’re sharing their pasts with each other.
    he said he played the violin for awhile. but everyone always laughed.
    “apparently left handed violinists are very funny.”
    no thank you on boxing movies. i think the only one i’ve seen is rocky.
    but i always enjoy your well thought and worded reviews anyway!
    tammy j recently posted..quality or quantity

  2. I’m glad you liked it, and you wrote a great review. But I’m with tammy — think I’ll pass.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Heart Warming

  3. Ursula says:

    No other, to you, recognizable name than Whitaker? Surely, you’ve seen Jake Gyllenhaal before?

    On your recommendation I may watch the film – for the human interest part in it, not the boxing. Can’t stand it. On the whole I don’t care what people do with their lives. Boxing? It’s a total no no to me – if only for the well known “Schuessel Effekt” meaning that – on impact – your grey mass (brain) wobbles around your skull like jelly in a bowl, effectively making you concussed. Anyway, that’s how my father explained it to me. And, no doubt, a reason why so many boxers appear slightly “out” of it. I am happy with whatever the Angel does (and that included his hair raising skateboarding which isn’t for ninnies either) but if he’d taken up boxing I’d seriously questioned my parenting and his intelligence.

    U
    Ursula recently posted..In shock, and Dorian Gray in the attic

    • Oddly enough no Ursula. It is after I saw the film that I did some research and found that he has had quite a successful career, but I have not seen any of his films including Brokeback Mountain about which I had heard but not about Gyllenhaal.

      Now you know why I am slightly “out of it’!

  4. Gabbygeezer says:

    I’ll look for this one. Two of my fraternity brothers were national collegiate champions and another just missed a national title in a close fight. Knowing those guys provided some insights about boxing and gave me lifelong interest in the “sweet science.”
    Gabbygeezer recently posted..Unladylike Luck

  5. shackman says:

    My fave Jake Gyllenhall film to date is Zodiac – a story about which I am very familiar and in a way involved with. This one has struck me since I saw the first trailer as a variation on Rocky – an excellent film that happens to be about boxing. I’ll definitely see southpaw as I am quite fond of sports movies, the last god one I saw being Million Dollar Arm – about some Indian players attempts to break into MLB
    shackman recently posted..Up and Down

  6. Max Coutinho says:

    Hi Rummy,

    My brother is a southpaw and never had problems with it. But like Ranjan, he was born in a much enlightened era because my paternal granny was a southpaw too and she had to learn how to write with her right hand lest she’d be punished. I’m glad we evolved in that sense.

    I will check this movie out. Thanks for the review :).

    Cheers
    Max Coutinho recently posted..Dangers In the UN Gaza Report

  7. Cathy in NZ says:

    I’m not ambidextrous either but in some ways I am – as I have to have two hands in working order for both to have a reasonable go at life – i.e.lifiting things including hot cups of coffee/tea…

    my ex should have been encouraged to left as he really has a lot of trouble writing – moving the paper as if to do it left handed and writing an odd script with his right…

    • At some point of time all of us become ambidextrous to some extent due to circumstances. As a young boy I had fractured my right forearm and was in plaster when I had to learn to use my left hand for various things, primarily play games!

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