I was asked to write a review of a movie, based on sports, for our company’s weekly magazine. The first name which occupied the thoughts in my mind was Million Dollar baby. I had watched it long back & was very much impressed with the story, the cast & especially Hillary Swank’s performance. The way she enacts as a boxer, actually resembles a professional.Luckily, I got another reason to watch this movie again.
Million Dollar Baby is all about a woman’s determination. It’s about a 31 year old Margaret Fitzgerald (Maggie), an aspiring boxer, chasing her dream to win the boxing title. Her ambition, her focused approach ends up in convincing Frankie Dunn (Clint Eastwood), a brilliant coach, to take Maggie as a trainee. Frankie, who initially refuses to train Maggie only because she is a woman, gives in to the reluctant Maggie. Frankie turns her down by saying “Girlie ain’t tough enough”, when approached for the first time.
The movie is well directed by Clint Eastwood himself. The story revolves around the lives of Frankie & Maggie. Frankie is an excellent trainer but is not appreciated enough by his colleagues & his own daughter. On the other hand, Maggie, brilliantly played by Hillary Swank saves every penny she earns to fulfill her dream. Through this journey, both develop a strong father‐daughter bond. Frankie nicknames her with an Irish word ‘mo cuishele’.
With excellent training that she receives, Maggie wins every boxing match by knocking down the opponent in the first round itself. “Boxing is about the respect, get that for yourself & take it away from the other guy”, are the words narrated by Morgan Freeman, who plays the character of Eddie Dupris, Frankie’s friend & also the caretaker of the gym hit pit. Tragedy strikes when Maggie is about to cherish her dream, she is injured in a fatal accident during a match. Maggie never recovers from this trauma. Frankie tries his best to get her proper treatment. The family condition worsens Maggie’s health. The meaning of the nickname is revealed only at the end that translates to “My darling, my blood”.
Million Dollar Baby is worth watching. Let me end this preview with some of the best narrations from the movie –
“Boxing is an unnatural act. Everything in Boxing is backwards. Sometimes best way to deliver a punch is step back! But step back too far, you ain’t fighting at all.”
“If there is magic in boxing, it’s the magic of hiring battles beyond endurance, beyond cracked ribs, erupted kidneys. It’s the magic of risking everything for a dream which nobody sees but you.”