Concussion, 2015 – Review

NFL - Concussion

I said in one of my previous posts – I can never understand sports like boxing where people hit each other so savagely that it deforms you. You can add American football to that list. I know these are very popular sports but my personal opinion is that it is somewhat sad to see men hit each other to claim victory. I used to actually wonder ‘don’t skulls crack when big men bang into each other with such animal ferocity?’ And boy was I glad to see a movie on the same thought.

Concussion is a true story about a Nigerian pathologist who discovers CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy ) in American footballers. CTE is a phenomenon where long term effects of smashing into each other makes brains go mush. Dr. Bennet Omalu, played by the talented Will Smith, is this principled, humane pathologist who with his determination found out how degenerative the sport is for players. The NFL apparently opposed this view because obviously it means loss of business. As one dialogue in the movie goes ‘Imagine if even one percent of mothers forbid their kids to not take up football – you know what it would do to the sport? It would be dead before you know it.’

The movie shows how cruel the world is when profits and a business model is threatened. How far a conglomerate will go to protect itself. It shows why some humans go down in history – for their principles, for their determination to lead and fight the world to go forward in what they believe in. The movie is more than anything, a movie about human psychology which is what made it so interesting.

The performances were really good – especially Will Smith (though he did lose his accent a few times). After a few sci-fi roles, he is solid with a more than realistic portrayal of Dr. Omalu. Alec Baldwin, as his partner in ‘crime’ gives a serious, thoughtful performances as well. The movie at times is extremely slow which was my only grouse. But overall, a tightly edited and directed film which might be able to get Will Smith an Oscar this year? What do you think?


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