Please don't read this if you don't want the ending given away. I've noticed a lot of people complaining that the ending spoils the film and is clichéd because the underdog and not the better fighter wins. I'm not suggesting that my interpretation is the right one but my view is somewhat different than the one some people hold. It is perfectly logical to point out that Brendan had hard fights to get to the final and that he would probably have been exhausted and that Tommy has had a much easier route. However, the point is that he made that route easier because of his rage. Tommy is only the more destructive force because of that. His demons are driving him on because he is lost. He cannot or will not reach out to connect with his father or brother. The point is that the dam is broken when he sees his father in the hotel room raging against Ahab. This is deeply symbolic. I think you are meant to draw the connection with Ahab who was driven by his own rage with the rage of the father which destroyed his family to the rage which Tommy now feels. Even though he is drunk it is no coincidence that his father refers to Tommy as Ahab and bellows at him to stop the ship. At the point that Tommy takes him in his arms and holds him he begins the healing process but loses what makes him such a formidable fighter. Thus he is simply unable to blow his brother away in the way that he has done to every other opponent. The other crucial point (and you would have to be a younger brother to fully get this one) is that Tommy doesn't really want to beat his brother at that point. He needs to know that his brother loves him and perhaps that he regrets not reaching out to him when they were younger. The fact that he taps out only at the point when Brendan says he loves him is significant as is the fact that he breaks down in the corner before the final round. Had he still been carrying his rage he would surely rather have been rendered unconscious than submit. In other words, for me it was the perfect ending and the more you think about the film the more profound it seems. All in my view of course. Which could be a load of old rubbish.
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The youngest son of an alcoholic former boxer returns home, where he's trained by his father for competition in a mixed martial arts tournament - a path that puts the fighter on a collision course with his estranged, older brother.
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April 10, 2019