Antwone Fisher (2002) Review

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Antwone Fisher is based on a true story of a young man in the navy who struggles to control his temper and he must see psychiatrist Dr. Jerome Davenport to help control himself. His painful past is revealed and Davenport really wants to help this young man as much as possible.

This film is a tough one to watch in all honesty as the subject matter gets very tough to deal with, finding out what has stemmed his angry side and not being able to control himself. We cannot hell but sympathise and fully feel sorry for him. Born in prison and then put into foster care he never knew his father who had been killed before he was born. He then never knew his mother either and was put into foster care. That was a brutal experience for Antwone as he suffered years of emotional, physical and even sexual abuse.

It takes the help of Davenport to allow the young man to accept what happened to him and revisit the pain in his past which has caused many problems in his adult life. Attempting to have a relationship with a woman was always difficult for him and getting a very understanding girlfriend really helped him out.

The performances were very impressive and grip you a lot. Denzel Washington directed the film along with his supporting role and you could tell his passion was throughout the project. Derek Luke is outstanding as Antwone and really pushes the boundaries for emotional performances. He really does make it better to watch as we really find ourselves caring about the troubled young man. The scenes with Washington are very good and I cannot help but compare them to Damon and Williams in Good Will Hunting.

When he eventually realises that he wants to know more about his real family it sets up a quest to find out if his mother is still alive and who is father actually was. If he has any family left and that all really does build up in dramatic fashion to a very lovely and reassuring ending. The building up of the story and learning about his awful past really doesn’t make all of that so satisfying that all is not lost in life if you didn’t have the best of starts. Yes, that cannot be taken away but you can still live and be proud of your achievements.

The delicate subject matters are always going to be tough to put into film and showcase what happened. I feel though that in this one it was certainly done in the best possible way, to show the pain and suffering without it being too visual. Hopefully that makes sense, as it is pretty difficult to put into words how those scenes really work out.

I don’t really think I see this film mentioned very much anymore but certainly a powerful drama if you have not seen it and well worth the time to watch for the powerful performances from start to finish.

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