Tag Archives: forest whitaker

Southpaw (2015)

Southpaw review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

My ratings: 4/5.

‘The more you get hit, the harder you fight’.

Well, that’s more or less the story of boxer Billy Hope’s life, both in and out of the ring.

Director Antoine Fuqua, famous for action films like Training Day (2001) and Shooter (2007) and The Equalizer (2014) comes up with a ‘boxing film’ this time. 

southpaw-poster1Not a biography (as most boxing films are) but i bet you have seen such typical sports-redemption dramas before and there is a good chance that you already have guessed the basic story-line.

An arrogant man who cannot control his rage but life puts him in a tough spot and teaches him to be humble and take control of his destiny. And guess what – he eventually becomes a better man both professionally and personally!

Absolutely nothing unique in the script and regarding the all blood & sweat boxing showdown – we have seen better in films like Raging Bull (1980), Cinderella Man (2005) and even the Sylvester Stallone‘s Rocky versions.

So now the big question is WHAT exactly is there in this 124 min film Southpaw that still holds our attention? HOW does it still manage to impress us?

southpaw-poster3The combination of Antoine Fuqua‘s direction and the music of James Horner (RIP) – Yes may be. But the real answer lies in the brilliant performance of the entire cast, especially Jake Gyllenhaal

After his outstanding role in Nightcrawler as the skinny psychopathic crime journalist, Jake Gyllenhaal has now transformed himself into this all-muscle, super-fit, left-handed boxing champion Billy Hope.

The rage and the darkness in the character, the helplessness and the self-destruction, the empathy and love for his family and friends, the will to survive – Bill Hope is one complex character and no body could have portrayed him as good as Jake Gyllenhaal.

By the way, Eminem was supposed to play the ‘Southpaw’ and then Ryan GoslingBradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner were all considered for this role!

southpaw-posterAnd then there is the ever-beautiful Rachel McAdams (wife of Billy Hope); their chemistry in the beginning supports the entire film. Forest Whitaker as the teacher-figure gives his best. Even the child actor Oona Laurence belts out a terrific emotional performance. 

50 Cent acts and Eminem sings!

Southpaw is the best redemption drama of this year, specially recommended for the boxing-film lovers.

It’s a perfect example of how you can take the same old concept and shape it into something awesome with sensible direction and sheer brilliant performances.

 

List of Legendary Actors who also directed films

Did you know that so many of our favorite actors are directors as well? May be all are not as glorious and successful as Charlie Chaplin or Clint Eastwood but some of these Hollywood actors who also directed films deserves a pat on their shoulders.

Let’s see how many of these movies have you seen which are directed by these legendary actors.

Actor turned Director                Popular films directed

(Note: many of the actors have directed more films than mentioned here but i have listed only the popular ones)

Kirk Douglas                                  Scalawag (1973), Posse (1975)

Richard Burton                            Doctor Faustus (1967)

Diane Keaton                                Unstrung heroes (1995)

Billy Bob Thornton                    Sling Blade (1996)

Danny DeVito                              Throw Momma from the train (1987)

John Wayne                         The Alamo (1960), The Green Berets (1968)

Liv Ullmann                                     Sofie (1992), Faithless (2000)

Barbra Streisand                         Yentl (1983), The prince of tides (1991) 

Paul Newman                                 The glass Menagerie (1987)

Bill Murray                                       Quick Change (1990)

Alec Baldwin                                      Shortcut to Happiness (2003)

Ed Harris                         Pollock (2000), Appaloosa (2008)

Denzel Washington                      The great Debaters (2007)

Ethan Hawke               Chelsea Walls (2001), The Hottest state (2006)

Forest Whitaker         Waiting to Exhale (1995), Hope Floats (1998)

Sylvester Stallone                     Rambo (2008),The expendables (2010)

Jodie Foster                              Little man Tate (1991),The beaver (2011)

Ben Stiller                                   The Cable guy (1996), Zoolander (2001)

Ralph Fiennes               Coriolanus (2011), The invisible woman (2013)

Jack Nicholson                        Goin’ South (1978), The Two Jakes (1990)

Morgan Freeman                       Bopha! (1993)

Drew Barrymore                       Whip It (2009)

Antonio Banderas        Crazy in Alabama (1999), Summer Rain (2006)

Nicolas Cage                                  Sonny (2002)

Angelina Jolie                               In the land of blood and honey (2011)

Anthony Hopkins                      Dylan Thomas: Return Journey (1990)

Dustin Hoffman                          Quartet (2012)

Keanu Reeves                              Man of tai Chi (2013)

Tom Hanks                                     That thing you do! (1996)

Johnny Depp                                 The Brave (1997)

Robert De Nero      A Bronx Tale (1993), The Good Shepherd (2006)

Al Pacino                                             Chinese coffee (2000), Salomé (2013)

Kevin Costner          Dances with wolves (1990), The postman (1997)

Mel Gibson                                        Braveheart (1995), Apocalypto (2006)

Sean Penn                                          The pledge (2001), Into the wild (2007)

George Clooney                            The ides of March (2011) 

Ben Affleck                                        Argo (2012), Gone baby gone (2007)