Foxcatcher – 3/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

foxcatcherFoxcatcher – 3/5 – This is a review for a film that came out last year and now available on Blu Ray.  Based off true events; this is a film that takes those events and lead into some interesting and bizarre territories.  What seems to be a lot of strange things, Foxcatcher stands on its own merits because of the great dramatic acting from the three main leads.  Even with great acting, this film just comes off as another typical human drama with ‘great actors’ trapped in a diminutive narrative.

Premise:  A story of true events; as we follow the famed wrestling brother tandem of the Schultz brothers as they join billionaire John Du Pont’s Team Foxcatcher.  A union birthed out of passion, will eventually lead down the road to dire circumstances.

In the lead roles you have:

Steve Carell as John Du Pont

Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz

Mark Ruffalo as David Schultz

On the surface it may seem like typical casting.  On the other hand (as you watch this film), you see that each individual actor brings so much depth to their roles, showing there is something more than just their wrestling pedigree.  The depth, intrigue and layering that forms from the individually flows into their relationships with each other.  From the Brother Schultz and the ‘kindred’ friendship between the brothers and Mr. Du Pont, you see a complexion that mystifies and intrigues.  The caution of the delicate balance between each of them is brought to the screen with fragility and flawed sense on being human.  The rawness comes from each of the actors showing what their capacity is when it comes to trust, love, brotherly affection and mental stability when things ‘hit the fan’.  From Steve Carell award nominated performances, to the other deeply moving roles; you will see more than just men behind the mask.  You will see distraught, fragile and shortcomings of being persistent for a dream, and getting lost in that same thought.  Outside of these three, the rest of the cast is the typical caricatures you find in any simple drama story.  There isn’t much else to say other than they are generic and expected for this kind of film.

The direction is a very simple focus on ‘true events’, and how they play against a dramatic script.  The ‘true events’ we have here are the tales that happen between the Schultz brothers and Mr. Du Pont.   The film moves along a delicate pace, one that builds along specific ‘chronological’ points of the Schultz brothers, there wrestling tournaments and when they meet Mr. Du Pont.  The film (with this kind of direction) follows the exploits of the Schultz brothers as they prepare for Olympics in Seoul, S. Korea.   Along this path, Du Pont funds their team, seeing it as his ‘duty’ to help make America the most important figure in the wrestling world.  These exploits leads to seeing a perspectives of their passion, ideals, focus and raw vigor that comes from the human soul.  These webs of delicate human attributes weave a deeper connection that shows this film has roots in characterization of these brothers and Du Pont.  There is destabilization of friendship, brotherhood and sensibility that happens when you watch this film.  This is the basic heart of the film; which also leads to its staggering, dull momentum.  Unlike most characterized tales; this one relies too much on the direction of the characters action, interactions and decisions.  With real focused on directing a story, there’s a lacking of main focus, breaking the film down to the basic outline of a chronological story.  The film drags, the pacing swoons and the tone turns the morbidity of the situation to a point where it causes the film to fall into cliché ‘melodramatic’ territory.  Some scenes are hard to watch because of the nature of being so ‘forced’ on the drama side.   Once you get to the end of the film, it does end on a high note where it brings you back to the most important ideals of this human tale.

The visuals are based in a general backdrop of the American Countryside.  This helps add the raw ‘ominous’ sense for the characters, grounding the films progression to a believable factor.  The score is pretty much nonexistent.

Foxcatcher is a film that has a lot of greatness within its characters (lead by a stellar cast); but beyond that, the film is nothing more than just a melodramatic tale of true events.  I recommend this as nothing more than a rental, but only for those who like good character films.

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