The Fighter: The Grimy, Scrappy, Scratchy Directorial Style Delivers The Grounded Punch

The first thing a person will talk about after seeing The Fighter is the showcase of acting talent on display, including the larger then life crack addict, Dicky Eklund, conveyed with energy, charm and a gentle poignance by Christian Bale, and Melissa Leo, as the loud, explosive, utterly-mad mother of the Ward/ Eklund duo, Alice. However if it wasn’t for David O Russell’s decision to keep the film as grounded as possible we wouldn’t see such amazing performances delivered with such knock-out blows. Some have argued O Russell’s directing style is flat and slightly televisual, but I disagree. When he could easily have dressed the movie up with idealistic lighting and fancy shooting styles, he decided in favour of a directing style that can only be described as “Shoot The Way It Is”. Therefore by selecting elementary camera angles and dreary bland lighting, The Fighter moves with a gritty yet realistic verse, never losing its soul or more importantly it’s foundation. Ultimately you find yourself engrossed by the characters because all of their struggles and fights feel so real. Add to this the scratching montages of Dicky and Micky growing up, the real footage of Dicky’s fights and of course the ferociously shot boxing sequences in the third act of the movie and you have in The Fighter a film visually relevant to it’s levelheaded story. Here are some photos from the ground-leveled The Fighter!


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