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Category: Sports

Raging Bull (1980) another great movie by Scorsese

I watched Raging Bull directed by Scorsese and its just too good. He's too good at directing, every movie I've seen from him has been perfect, this included. 

Raging Bull follows a boxer who is just an all round horrible human being and his downfall. It's based on a real person named Jake Lamotta and before watching TW for abuse. I've also heard that the real life Jake Lamotta's ex wife has a book detailing the whole thing and I've also heard that he did some sickening things to her, so read at your discretion. 

It's basically just the anti-underdog story. You watch a promising up and coming boxer, destroy himself through pride and envy. It's shot in beautiful black and white and the cinematography is gorgeous. Really artsy too, these scenes of brutal violence in the ring, shot so beautifully but never glorified. Actually the violence in the ring, as bloody as it gets, as squeamish as it made me, was nothing compared to the damage and violence he projects onto the people in his life.

Martin Scorsese actually contrasts the boxing matches with his normal life. Like there was a montage featuring him beating someone to a Pulp in a match and then it would cut to him and his wife being all romantic. I think that must've been intentional. 

Another thing I wanna touch on is the Raging Bull, yeah it's a threatening name but think of a Bull Really quickly. OK, picture a Bull fighter, the guy with the Red cape and he's waving it around and how the Bull becomes transfixed on that red cape. Now let me describe a scene from this movie to you, Jake is getting advice from his brother about the next boxing match, he's up against someone who's apparently very good. They're talking and his wife, Vickie says that this guy he's up against has a pretty face (essentially, he doesn't get hit very often and has no scars so one could assume that he's very agile) it is also later revealed that she never saw his face but was just relaying information that she heard that might help him. This was a throwaway line, I didn't even pick up on it but it was the seed of Jake's envy. He is transfixed on this line like a Bull transfixed on a red cape.

His envy is one of his biggest flaws, kind of Othelloesque but the thing is, Othello was manipulated by Iago but Jake wasn't manipulated by anyone but himself. He could take down anyone in the ring, nobody stood a chance against him except himself, he is his own worst enemy and his self destruction is solely caused by himself, by his pride, by his possessiveness, by his envy which eventually culminates in hatred and rage.

There's a lot of imagery with mirrors in this movie, he constantly stares into mirrors or reflections usually when he's on his one. He faces his only enemy but never confronts him. The only people who do confront him are the ones he loves or is supposed to love. 

I don't want to spoil this movie but I think it ended perfectly too. I couldn't think of a better ending, he got what he deserved. It's not a big "what comes around goes around" thing but more of a quiet tragedy. 

In conclusion, I highly recommend this movie, I gave it a 5 star rating and I think it's beautifully shot but you knew that. Read the TW before watching though, it's absolutely sickening what he does to Vickie and aside from that it's pretty violent when he's actually boxing someone in the ring. 

Thank you for reading, as always. I hope you guys enjoy a more subjective stance on this, I barely touched on the objective stuff but I wanna write more reviews like this.

Next I'm probably watching Tender Mercies. I also said I would watch Yojimbo but I fell asleep and then watched this instead.

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