Monday 7 July 2008

Raging Bull [1980]

Arguably the most powerful American movie of the 80s, Raging Bull remains one of the finest films of one of the greatest filmmakers, Martin Scorcese. In fact, it is almost as good as Taxi Driver. A brutal, unsentimental and disturbing character study of a champion boxer’s fall from grace – from professional as well as personal standpoints, the movie raised the director’s favourite themes of guilt and man's futile attempts at redemption. Robert De Nero paired up with Scorcese to bring to screen yet another terrific and unforgettable portrayal of an exceedingly complex character – the violent, distrusting, self-destructive, passionately jealous, and severely flawed pugilist Jake La Motta. Joe Pesci, one of the most irresistibly amazing character actors (and not just of his generation), too, delivered an impeccable performance as the troubled prize-fighter’s brother who can take only so much of you-know-what. Brilliant black and white photography, a great script by Scorcese collaborator Paul Shrader, and a superbly edited narrative, combined with Scorcese’s genius at fascinating characterization, made this grim and harrowing tale of a fallen hero one of the most incredible portrayals of the darker and volatile forces of human nature.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Genre: Drama/Psychological Drama/Biopic
Language: English
Country: US


Chris said...

Its probably blasphemous as a cinephile to say that Raging Bull I didn't enjoy(the characters are difficult to like for me). Though I can admire the acting by especially De Niro, the fight scenes are unique, the weight gained, very impressive. Not taking anything away from your appreciation of Raging Bull, I read recently that Martin Scorsese regards The King of Comedy (1983) as De Niro's finest acting performance-Its well worth a look ( :

Shubhajit said...

Haha, well cinema, like most other artforms, can only be subjectively appraised - to each his own, as they say. In fact there are quite a few universally acclaimed masterpieces that I didn't like as much - so I can sure appreciate your position :)

Thanks for the recommendation. Though I consider myself an admirer of Scorsese's body of work, there still are a few that I need to watch, King of Comedy being one of them.