Available Quality: DivX, Hi Def, iPod, Hi Def, Hi Def
Director(s): David O. Russell
IMDB Rating: 8
The Fighter, is a drama about boxer Irish Micky Wards unlikely road to the world light welterweight title. His Rocky-like rise was shepherded by half-brother Dicky, a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after nearly being KOd by drugs and crime.
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tieman64 (15 May 2013)
"To know a social class or even a portion of a social class is notsimply a matter of rubbing shoulders with its members, or getting downpat all their mannerisms and language. It has something to do also withunderstanding the class as an objective historical factor, a phenomenonthat goes beyond the level of individual consciousness andself-awareness." - Joanne Laurier The "boxing genre" has now been played with from every angle. Everysituation has been coded, every dramatic arc, shot, theme, line andcharacter thoroughly categorised, codified and now part of cinema'svocabulary. It would take a genius to shake the genre up.The two most interesting recent films in this genre, "Redbelt" and"Rocky Balboa", work for two completely different reasons, "Redbelt" acon game on genre and audience and "Rocky Balboa" a film about asimpleton made by a simpleton which embraces simpleton values. One filmis wholly subversive, the other possessing a kind of earnest,aww-shucks sincerity which perfectly parrots the naivety of the 1950sring flicks it adores.David O. Russell's "The Fighter", like Darren Aronofsky's "TheWrestler", exists at neither end of the spectrum. Like most "boxingmovies", it takes all the boxing tropes from 1950s ring flicks andpushes them to more frenetic extremes, the family drama harsher, thegrit grittier, the swearing louder. But it's all unimaginative cannedconflict, Russell, like Aronofsky, looking to get his career back ontrack with some audience/critic/studio pandering. See, he can makecrowd pleasing adult movies. But in Hollywood, "adult" is often codefor fairy tales with R ratings.Like "The Wrestler", the film strives for a certain 1970's grittinessor neo-realism, but its all so very self conscious and overlymanicured, Russell's white trash characters less "real people" thanknowing copies. Though virtually the entire cast rings false, actorChristian Bale is the worst culprit. Yes, he's playing a brain damagedcrack addict, but Bale's manic look-at-me performance is neverthelessall surfaces and too little depth. When De Niro parroted La Mottaparroting Brando in "Raging Bull", he still came across as a character.Here, Bale's parroting De Niro parroting La Motta parroting Brandoparroting Terry Malloy. The result is less a character than aself-reflexive Polaroid, flapping in the wind.The film's boxing sequences are themselves shot on video, epitomizingthe film's strange relationship with documentary realism. When Scorseseinserted faux family videos into "Raging Bull" you believed it. Threedecades later, similar tactics have an odd awkwardness. Cinema veriteonce attempted to simulate reality. Now directors attempt to simulatecinema verite. The world too mediated, ground zero "realism" is nowalmost impossible to convincingly convey. Strangely, actor MarkWahlberg, a born again Christian with newfound humility/devotion, isthe only actor who comes across as a real person rather than a flatimage. The film's best moments involve him.The "boxing genre" is largely a blue-collar world, so most of thesefilms unconsciously say something about the American working class.Here the film aligns media domination and early 90s techno-capitalismwith both a culture of addiction and the corpse like decomposition ofthe American Dream. For all its sexy style and Method pyrotechnics,something like "Raging Bull" was all hot air, masochism collapsing intoa kind of Catholic guilt, each fight (count them) a station of thecross, each blow a desire for penance. But Russell's film, likeAronofsky's, is about a much larger assault on the body. Here, each oftwo brothers (Mickey and Dicky) embodies a different fighting style.Dicky is feral, fast moving, flexible, whilst an unsuccessful Mickey isfirmly planted, rooted, always entrenched. Mickey, in other words, isanachronistic, a post industrial man being down sized and replaced byforeign strangers with small fingers and faster hands. He embodies whatGilles Deleuze calls the "disciplinary society", a cultural modelwhich, like Mickey's dilapidating home town (Lowell, the birthplace ofindustrial America), can not cope in the 21st century. In contrast,Mickey's brother, schizoid, his flesh ravaged by drugs, embodies ourera of amorphous, androgynous flexibility. The boxing ring is itselfnothing but a curriculum vitae, an arena to showcase your skill sets.The film ends with Mickey "retraining" for this new world, hismanhood/masculinity reprogrammed and reconstituted. After cutting tieswith his brother and his selfish, wholly dysfunctional extended family- capitalism atomises all relations - he eventually becomes a freaklike them. Final image: a VHS shot (and then a VHS shot of the VHSshot) of Mickey and Dicky side by side, equally flat, one brother a nutcase the other now on his way to becoming one.Eventually Bale's super self-conscious performance unintentionallybegins to work as subtext. What we have here is Christian Bale,literally a 21st C meta-product of post-modernism, his identity foreverunstable, alongside his predecessor, the Christian Wahlberg, literallythe product of a belief in a 20th century Soveriegn Self under God.With the progression of capitalism and the production of advancedtechnology, man becomes increasingly, and irrevocably, alienated fromhimself; what theorists call the "schizoid" or "split condition",humanity fundamentally divided from itself in countless ways. What thisnew wave of modern "boxing films" seems to unconsciously stress is notthe physical damage induced by fists on flesh, the seeping of blood orthe swelling of faces, but a kind of cruel depthlessness which theboxer must adopt if he is to triumph. And this triumph is alwayshollow. Rocky was reborn a man, a hero, when he took down Apollo Creed,but Mickey and Randy the Ram become flat images, selling themselves fornothing and then discarded.Incidentally, this was a work for hire for director David O. Russell.The project's real auteur is Mark Wahlberg. Aronofsky himself rejectedthe script in favour for directing "The Wrestler".7.9/10 Â Too clichÃ©d and self conscious, but Bale provides good laughs.
(15 May 2013)
This review is from: The Fighter (DVD) Based on a true story! The actual real characters are in the movie/cameo. Christian Bale really, really did a great job! Came on time, we thank you Amazon!
anselmo-pz666 (14 May 2013)
After watching the trailers for last few months finally watched it..andloved it.Right actors for the right roles.Each character has beenthoughtfully selected and each one of them have religiously performedtheir part.Whether it is Micky,Dicky,mom,girlfriend...they all havebeen able to perfectly portrait the true story of the "Irish" and hisbattle to the top. Christian Bale..turning out to be an actor who canjust perfectly play any role he gets..whether it is the role ofBatman,Psycho,terminator or a drug addict..he just fits in.Bale'sacting as a restless addict in the movie is superbly played.Overallcharacters were nicely balanced.Mark Wahlberg did well in showing as aprofessional boxer.Anyway the best parts are still the fights.I lovedthe last two fights because they ended pretty quick.Usually you alreadyknow that the actor after getting beaten to death will get back all hismotivational energy after seeing some flash trailers of his bad past inhis memory. Here it just ends..two three quick nice shots and thatsit..he wins.You don't have to wait till you see the villain gettingbeaten to the core. A must watch for action and sports movie lovers. Irate it 9 out of 10 and would not mind watching it two or three timesmore.
Kristi H. (14 May 2013)
I went into this film expecting it to be more about the performancesthan about the plot. I left this film expecting it to be the topcontender for a Best Picture Oscar.A lot has been written about the performances in this film, so I won'tspend long on that. The two performances that stand out for me areMelissa Leo as Alice and Christian Bale as Dicky. Both powerhouseperformances deserving Oscar nods, if not wins.The thing that separates this film from other underdog sports films isthat it delves into the character's strained relationships with hismother and brother and the writers and actors were not afraid of makingthose two latter characters gritty, real, and not wholly likable. Thismovie's biggest strength was how real it felt. How many of us havestrained relationships within our family? How many of us have that onerelative (or more), that just keeps bringing us down in life, but whomwe have a hard time separating ourselves from out of family loyalties?I do not know if the crew went to the real neighborhood that Micky Wardgrew up in or if they filmed elsewhere, but the set locations that werechosen were just as pivotal to the story as the performances. They helpto establish and remind us that the Micky Ward we meet is by no means arich man financially, while allowing the story more time to focus onthe fact that he is also not a rich man in any other sense of the word.A beautiful house in suburbia where Ward's ex-wife lives is in starkcontrast to the upstairs apartment in which he lives. A crack house,just down the street from what looks to be a church...wow! What apowerful image.I wouldn't call this a light-hearted drama at all, but it did have someunexpected laughs...my favorite one involving an intercom.There were few flaws in this film, but the biggest ones I foundinvolved the sisters . The sisters were a creepy lot (some of the themlooked older than their mother, which added to the creepiness factor),and not well cast. Even in smaller supporting roles, a well-cast partcan make a difference. I don't think it is going out on a limb insaying that I believe some of the sisters were locals and notprofessional actors. I know I recognized at least one from Gone BabyGone and her acting didn't impress me in that film, either, being morea distraction in the scenes she appeared in than a help. The sistersdid have their funny moments, needless to say, but I actually thoughtthe film wouldn't have suffered if he had had fewer of them around inthe film (no offense to any of Micky's real sisters).All in all, though, as I say in my summary title, I think this film isthis generation's Rocky, just with a spunkier version of Adrian and abit more realism and dysfunction thrown in.
Brandon Blackwell (13 May 2013)
A look at the early years of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his brotherwho helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s.The Fighter comes with all the right tools to become a great boxingmovie... It had a cast: Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale; two amazingactors who really dig into the movie rather than play around with it.It had a plot: a movie based on true events, while also maintainingfocus on the drama outside of the ring. So I basically had highexpectations, as all of these can structure a movie into somethingworth watching, or something worth feeling...The Fighter is just average. Now I say that knowing that people won'tagree, but sadly the Fighter as been done too many times before inthese kind of films. It has great fighting scenes (spectacular,actually) and DOES focus on more than the fighting, but it got carriedaway trying to be bigger and badder than it needed to be. The plotoutside the ring was honestly clichÃ©d, and never held the emotionalpunch it intended to do. But the one thing that saved this film frombeing the 6 is the acting. Mark Wahlberg was fantastic as a characterwe can actually hold interest in. They didn't clichÃ© him as much theydid Christian Bale, but although he was a bit clichÃ©d, he did afantastic job! He antics resembled a real junkie and his acting was atremendous step outside the Batman trilogy. He held the power to hold arealistic performance but withheld the power to step away from thesefighting movie clichÃ©s. Other than that, the acting was the thingsteaming from this film. And the plot.. it's too contrived. I've seenthe boxing film before, many times actually, but where?Should you see it? .. Although the movie IS clichÃ©d, and it neverstrays away from becoming what other films have become, the movie hasso many redeeming qualities I can't give it a BAD score. It waswell-acted, the fight scenes were realistic, and the cast waswell-resembled. I recommend it for the noobs for the genre, but anything outside of that, it's just another typical fighting film. 7/10.
(12 May 2013)
Overview: This film is what I would consider to be the 'Real Rocky' story. It is gritty, it is seedy, and it is real. This film is based on the life of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his older half-brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale). They are two brothers, who are chasing a dream, to be recognized as a boxing champion. Dicky's had his shot and once knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard, as his dream fades, he can still talk the talk, but as reality hits him he turns to the crack house. His habit drives him into criminal activity and eventually jail. While Dicky is in jail, Micky makes some serious strides, partially being motivated by his future wife, Charlene Fleming (Amy Adams) in terms of winning his fights. At the point where he has a shot at a title fight, Dicky is released from prison and makes a serious commitment to stay clean and to assist in training his brother. This is a film about having a dream, and struggling, and making sacrifices to reach the goal and the destiny of your life. To attain the vision of your life. The Brothers: Micky, being the younger grew up in the shadows of Dicky. He looks up to him, but realizes too late that his brother was only selling him smoke and mirrors, as his real interest is crack (that is until he is dried out in jail). Dicky always enjoys being the hero and the center of attention. It's this crave for attention that caused him to be duped into making a HBO documentary on Crack in America. Bale does an exception job acting as a crack head, he looks quite drawn and just a bit punch drunk. In the end, they are able to set aside their differences, come together to work towards a common goal. The Title Fight: The fight of his career was the Welterweight Championship bout with Shea Neary, in London. This fight takes place in 2000. This fight was quite sensational; you should see it for yourself.... so I will not put in a spoiler here. The Conclusion: This film motivates and it shows the strength and resolve of the human spirit. The unwavering determination of Micky is truly to be admired and emulated.
manoj govind (06 May 2013)
The Fighter is a fat bundle of sentiments and emotions much like itslast scene (the famous Shea Neary win,search youtube for real-lifefootage), not only for familial bond that "Irish" Micky Ward (MarkWahlberg) yearned for ,but also for the locational history and moreimportantly pride to be restored, here in this case Lowell,Massachusetts. The families there seem to have strong ties,whatever/whomever they might be.Dicky Eklund's (Christian Bale, again turned down by Matt Damon andBrad Pitt ) welterwieght boxing career had died long before he and hisover caring mother , Alice (Melissa Leo), realised it for themselves .His addiction to crack-cocaine was the center subject of thedocumentary named, High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell , thatHBO filmed closely for 18 months. But he seemed to careen himself intoa deeper addiction spiral and his mother , who managed Ward initially,kept lying to herself. There is a scene where Bale sings an old BeeGees song, " I started a Joke ", to his mother, do watch out for thelyrics.Bale and Wahlberg Charlene (Amy Adams) the sharp mouthed bar-girl isall about getting Ward into a focus that had him arguably "back ontrack". But Micky's win over Sanchez makes things more complicated, forhis family in itself is complicated. A bunch of sisters who crowd thescreen with their cigarettes and foul clichÃ©s topped by his motherherself, is just about enough for anybody.But family is family and he knew he always wanted needed his half-brother Dicky's help. Somewhere someone always seem to be moreimportant to us more than anyone anywhere. I guess thats what is calledfamily. It is not because Bale is more on the screen that this film isovertly praised for his performance, among all critics all around. Itis not because Wahlberg wasn't good, hell no (watch Boogie Nights). Itis not because Amy Adams and Melissa Leo weren't great. In screen,theywere equally good. Great , in fact. But,it is because of his (Bale)impact on screen even when he is not present.The film is about Micky Ward. But Micky Ward is all about Lowell, hishalf-brother Dicky and his family and that is what we see. In fact whenhalf the time the camera wanders on the streets occasionally floatingin and out of houses filled with thick smoke and strong emotions itdoesn't take too much time for you to realise, "Here is a story thatneeds to be told". Micky Ward might be a local boxing legend now ,butit was his crazy half-brother,crack head, Dick Eklund who was there totell him "This is yours".The final boxing match was a success both to the screen and in realwith honest emotions which surprisingly and unsurprisingly didn'tinterest both Aronofsky and Scorsese . I guess the only thing thatwould've interested Darren must've been the drug quotient in the scriptand Scorsese , well he already made Raging Bull, so wth can't blamehim. Just wondering, not that David O.Russell didn't fare well. It ishis best till date, undoubtedly. But sadly for him ,it will beremembered for Bale's Oscar.Oops did I jinx it for him? I hope not.
vikas menghwani (05 May 2013)
Mark Wahlberg plays Micky Ward, a former boxer with Christian Baleplaying his brother Dicky Ward. Never in the movie I felt that thestory is going astray because I realized what the movie was intended tobe and they achieved their goal successfully. The movie is not aboutboxing, neither it is about spirit of sports. It is about family,brotherhood, relationships, passion and life in general. The gem of themovie is Christian Bale - so glad he got the Oscar for his work. Trulyhis best work so far. I heard he stayed in the character all throughoutthe shoot. In fact, that is what it felt like, while watching themovie.David O Russel's directorial style is awesome. He captures the comedy,the sorrow and triumph in their true spirit.In the end, of course, youwish if the movie ran a little bit further.
(03 May 2013)
I knew some about this Lowell family, but not the full story. I'm glad I didn't, because the plot's freshness was a bonus on top of a superbly acted, gritty, real-feel movie that deserves every accolade heaped on it from all directions. Bale is amazing, as is the entire cast. The chorus of the sisters is one of the most frightening, anxiety-inducing sights ever on film. The fight scenes are great when they need to be, but it's the human stories that will leave such a huge impression.
(03 May 2013)
This review is from: The Fighter (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) (Blu-ray) The movie itself gets 5 stars from me, but there are very few special features. Deleted scenes, making of, commentary, and trailer. If youre getting this for the movie then its great. But since I really love special features this gets 4 stars.
jacob_jones72 (29 April 2013)
The most haunting moment is when we finally learn why camera crews arefollowing Dickie around.. When the camera man utters those words, thatit's a film about crack addiction, I felt Dickies pain as heunderstood, yet forgot almost immediately because of his pursuit of hisnext high.. I lost an older sister to addiction, and I admit that Icried like a baby at the end of this film.. It hit on so many emotionalchords, such as addiction, despair, and redemption.. And being from alarge Irish family, I chuckled at the clannish behavior of the Motherand her gaggle of daughters... It was so spot on, and hilarious.. Andfinally, the bond between brothers, which is what this film is about..Many will want to pigeonhole Christian Bale into the Supporting Actorcategory, but he should win the Lead Actor Oscar for this performance..This movie is just as much about Dickie, as Micky, and Bale'sperformance leaves no room for apathy.. He forces you to enter hisworld.. And Melissa Leo is just a great actress.. Everything she doesis utterly amazing.. Marky Mark was solid, as usual, and Amy Adams isjust everywhere!.. And the guy who played George (the Dad)?... Lovethat guy!..
(28 April 2013)
What is it about boxing movies that make them so good? I rolled my eyes when I first noticed the blurbs about this movie--here we go again--but when Melissa Leo got the Academy Award, I had to cave in and see this.Firstly, it was far better than I thought it would be. I loved the portrayal of this low-end, blue-collar, Irish American, Suburban Boston family and its hilarious dysfunction and outright tacky behaviors. But Leo knocked it all (pun, unintended) out of the proverbial park!Then there's Christian Bale--equally deserving of his Oscar--Bravo. I did not expect such an interesting study of family foibles, discord and all-so-human craziness. A vastly entertaining movie I would recommend highly! Just proves that there really is something about boxing movies that is both uniquely American and utterly fascinating.
trudywebber (25 April 2013)
Wow, I only wish that I didn't wait so long to rent this film. The filmis a true story about the rise of an obscure boxer and his brother, apast boxing champ who now trains him, but has a crack addiction. Iusually don't like "Marky Mark" Wahlberg and I think his acting isboring at best, unless his playing a character from Boston and thecharacter is The Fighter was just perfect for him. Christian Bale playshis brother, a crack addicted trainer who continues to relive hisboxing match with Suger Ray Leanord. The film explores thedysfunctional family that Mark's character has to live with and hisadmiration and love for his brother. Christian Bale nailed this role,seriously. Also, Amy Adams plays Mark's girlfriend and she also nailedthe role. The performance is amazing. The story is sad, funny andinspiring. Marky Mark also executive produced this and what a fantasticfilm...nice job.
(24 April 2013)
****1/2Based on a true story, David O. Russell's "The Fighter" is a knockout sports drama filled with finely drawn characters and crackerjack performances. The movie netted two of its actors - Christian Bale and Melissa Leo - a pair of richly deserved Best Supporting Oscars for their efforts.In the role he was clearly born to play, Mark Wahlberg stars as Micky Ward, a welterweight boxer who, after quite a few years in the ring already, is still trying to make a name for himself as a fighter. Perhaps the greatest hindrances to Micky's success are his mother, Alice (Leo), and his older brother, Dicky (Bale), the former a hard-living, tough-talking broad who takes it upon herself to manage - and mismanage - her son's career, and the latter, a crack-addicted has-been pugilist himself whose one claim to fame is taking out Sugar Ray Leonard in a bout in 1978 (Leonard makes a brief appearance as himself in the film). Now Micky is beginning to question whether he wouldn't be better off just cutting the family ties altogether and taking charge of his own affairs, especially when a well-reputed professional trainer offers to take him on as a client. But how will that sit with a mother and a boatload of siblings who prize familial loyalty above all else?Set in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1993, "The Fighter" brings its low-income, working-class milieu to vivid life. In addition to the thick Boston accents and mercilessly teased hair, "The Fighter" features what is probably the strangest, least "Hollywood" looking cast of secondary players I've ever seen in a mainstream movie. This is particularly the case with the women cast to play Micky and Dicky's seven unmarried sisters, all apparently still living at home, who serve as a kind of roving posse, eager to avenge any slights made against the family honor by outside forces, including Micky's highly opinionated new girlfriend, the tough-as-nails bartender Charlene (the superb Amy Adams), who isn't about to back down from this band of screeching white-trash banshees when it comes to doing what she thinks is best for Micky.So dazzled are we by the riveting, award-winning performances of Bale and Leo that Wahlberg's beautifully understated work as Micky could easily get lost in the shadows. But it is he who gives the movie its emotional center, turning Micky into a character whose fate and welfare we come to care deeply about. If nothing else, his subtle, self-effacing way of coping with all the craziness and drama taking place around him provides a necessary counterweight to the showier performances - and immediately puts us in his corner. It also helps that Micky is being torn in so many different directions at once, when all he really wants is to finally get a chance at a title bout. Jack McGee, the roly-poly fire chief from "Rescue Me," also scores as Micky's tirelessly supportive father, George.There's a definite toughness and a take-no-prisoners mentality to this clan, but also a closeness and a strangely admirable loyalty among its members that go a long way towards smoothing out some of those rougher edges. They're not necessarily people one would want to meet or have much to do with in real life, but as characters in a drama, they sure are fascinating to watch.
(21 April 2013)
This review is from: The Fighter (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray) I was not sure I really wanted to ever watch this movie but I am so glad I did. Christian Bale was totally deserving of his best supporting actor win at the Academy Awards. It is a movie that stays with you after you watch it and you fell connected to the real life persons that the movie represents.
(20 April 2013)
His performance is AMAZING and worth watching the film for. What absolutely brillaint acting.I didn't think Mark Wahlberg was great at all or Amy Adams. But Christian Bale makes it a movie worth watching.
(18 April 2013)
The story/plot has been covered in the previous reviews; suffice to say it was good sports story, and the cast was cohesive, believable and outstanding. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to others. Good job!
(17 April 2013)
I am writing this review as a casual boxing movie fan. Having seen all of the offerings over the past decade or so, this movie was entertaining in comparison only because of Christian Bale's excellent representation of the would-be champ who (tripped) knocked down Sugar Ray. He nails the quirky and witty remarks & mannerisms of Micky Ward's brother, Dicky. Wahlberg's performance is essentially a mail-in ... he fits the role well, but seemed uninspired. This is coming from someone who typically enjoy's Mark Wahlberg's movies, too. Amy Adams plays the (at first) hard-to-get bar maid and eventual love interest of Micky. Obviously, the movie is more about the messed up Ward family dynamics and the love/(not quite) hate relationship between two brothers carving their niche in the boxing world. Overall, 4 stars ... something for both men & women in the movie.
napierslogs (14 April 2013)
Dicky Ecklund (Christian Bale) is "the pride of Lowell, Massachusetts",at least he still believes that. Most people just see him as a crackaddict. HBO is making a documentary about him, but "The Fighter" isabout his brother, Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and trying to become achampion boxer."The Fighter" has a slightly different feel to it than most grittyboxing movies both because of Bale's performance and because of theamount of comedy delivered with all the lines. Lowell is also the typeof town that producer Wahlberg grew up in so the characterizationswould have been accurate. But it is still exactly like every grittyboxing movie, and although I was relieved it had comedy, it was anawfully strange mix between comedy and drama. They made light ofsituations that one scene later or earlier they had taken seriously.Any emotional message that they were trying to deliver was lost.The interactions among all the characters were quite enjoyable,especially between Micky's "MTV" girlfriend Charlene (Amy Adams) andhis mother and sisters, and between Dicky and his mother. Theperformances were great with a wonderful quick wit and fairlyinteresting interactions. "The Fighter" is a good film but it doesn'thave the meaning or impact that something like "Million Dollar Baby"(2004) has.
(14 April 2013)
This review is from: The Fighter (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray) Easily one of the best movies I've seen in my life. As a movie enthusiast (not just a movie WATCHER), I'm pretty hard on movies. Critical. The Fighter was just brilliant! Fantastic performances all around. The story had depth, and authentic heart-moving scenes. I loved the fact that it was based on a true story. Adds a dynamic to the story that you can relate to, and makes it more compelling to watch.
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