GEMS OF 2011: Warrior

Taken as a straight forward narrative, Warrior is rife with plot absurdities that terrific acting and complex themes can’t entirely overcome. Taken as a piece of mythical storytelling, in the vein of Greek Mythology (subtly referenced throughout the film) Warrior is a compelling tale of human struggle and triumph of the will. I left the theater feeling the former but with some thought I’ve realized that the latter is more appropriately aligned with the intentions of the filmmakers. The title refers to “Warrior,” a symbol that is clearly explored throughout but one that is never mentioned directly. There are, however, references to contemporary warfare and fighters being “animals.” Ultimately, the soldiers overseas, like those mythical beings we think of as larger than life were actually not mythical at all. They were humans, infected with guilt, sadness and the struggle for forgiveness. While we want to place certain beings, especially athletes, or fighters more specifically, above the realm of humanity, the fact is that they are no different from us. Warrior explores this dynamic and should be applauded for condemning war or the reduction of any people to simple barbarians. In addition to these ideas, the film possesses inspired cinematography (though the long lens beauty shots get a bit overbearing) and some of the best performances Hollywood has to offer. Watching Tom Hardy portray Tommy Conlon’s rage in the final bout, I was mesmerized by where the performer ended and the character began.

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1 Response to GEMS OF 2011: Warrior

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