“Beyond his silence, there is a past. Beyond her dreams, there is a feeling. Beyond hope, there is a memory. Beyond their journey, there is a love.”
Million Dollar Baby is not only a brilliant work of art created with tasteful planning, exquisite presentation and stirred heartfelt emotions. More importantly, it is a tale of the strength of heart and spirit that lives within a woman, the unconditional affection and bravery of a man, and the faithfulness and loyalty of a friend.
Being hailed the Best Picture in The Academy Awards 2005 with other three dashing Oscar wins namely Best Achievement in Directing for Clint Eastwood, who is in fact the oldest recipient of this award up to date at the age of 74, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Morgan Freeman, and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for Hillary Swank, it also garnered nominations in Best Achievement in Film Editing for Joel Cox, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Clint Eastwood, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Paul Haggis.
Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) was a well-known trainer for having produced great boxers. And his number one rule was to always protect one’s self. He had been separated from his daughter whom he loved and adored, and this pushed him to be detached from anyone else. Scrap (Freeman) was the caretaker of the gym who knew that inside this tough man was a soft spirit seeking its own redemption. And then came Maggie Fitzgerald (Swank) who insisted to be trained by Dunn. The rest is full of heartbreaking truths that let the audience sympathize with the three characters whose fates were intertwined.
To say that the harsh and straight-from-the-shoulder reality presented by Million Dollar Baby is depressing is a major understatement; the story told by Million Dollar Baby is a powerful force that seized every fiber of my being and imparted a pain so strong and so real that it let me feel how the characters felt. Though the existence of Maggie, Frankie and Scrap were all made up, though the story was not real, the feeling the film left is. And in that itself, Million Dollar Baby proved to be so deserving of its Best Picture award.
It would not have been a glorious feat without the gifted hands of Clint Eastwood handling the film. With a direction so superb, the brilliant plot was not put to waste. Also, their top notch acting performances raised Million Dollar Baby to its peak. Morgan Freeman’s role was subtle yet deeply moving. Clint Eastwood’s acting was as exceptional as his direction. And Hillary Swank’s portrayal was nothing less than beautiful and overwhelming.
Million Dollar Baby introduced me to one of the bravest and strong-willed women ever. I would forever be in awe of how much she could and would endure for the people she loves. Also, it revealed the soft and heart-wrenching side of a man who, for 25 years, was looking for his redemption. Million Dollar Baby is a truly outstanding film with an ending that shattered my fragile heart into pieces. I would be eternally grateful to be blessed enough to witness this marvel.