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January 02, 2006

Raging Bull - 6

This film shows that Robert De Niro is actually a good actor, he must really need the money to be in a film like Meet the Fockers. Shot in black and white, this is the true story of middle weight boxing champion Jake LaMotta. It is really about his rage and how it leads to destructive relationships with his brother, who is his manager early on, and his wife. I realize this is a classic and I should probably give it a 7, but I didn't find it all that compelling as a story. The acting and technical aspects were done well (the boxing scenes look very staged, rather than like real fights), but the story is kind of bland, or maybe I just don't resonate with the emotions of the film?


Jason said...

This is a 7 for me... the story really tears me up, especially since I feel bad for his character something fierce (feel bad for AND loathe).

Evan said...

This is one of my favorite movies of all-time and my favorite Scorsese movie.

There is really no thorough plot due to this being based on Jake LaMotta's actual memoirs. It's best to look at the film as a religious poem.

Each stanza of the poem shows LaMotta descending further and further into madness and barbarism. The transisition between the stanzas are the fight sequences. That's why they lack realism. The fight sequences are designed to represent Jake's pentience. The fights are his way of purging his sin (at least in his mind). If you look closer at some of the staging of the fighting or the corner you'll notice they are construced like sacraments.

Of course, since boxing is not true redemption Jake always returns to his animal form and gets considerably worse.