The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.The life of boxer Jake LaMotta, whose violence and temper that led him to the top in the ring destroyed his life outside of it.
Raging Bull chronicles the life of Jake LaMotta, a middleweight boxer whose rage, jealously & bouts of violent outbursts helps propel him to the top of the division but his inability to keep those vicious tendencies in check outside the arena leads him on a path of self-destruction, as he destroys his relationships with his wife & family over the years and wounds up all alone in his later life.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film is incredibly faithful to its source material and recreates the events with accuracy. Shot in black & white, which gives the picture a timeless quality, it illustrates the good, bad & ugly side of LaMotta with finesse and his arc is undeniably compelling. But he also comes off as an insufferable persona whose problems are of his own making which makes his downward journey all the more deserving.
What also affects the experience is that the story remains a monotonous ride for the entirety of its runtime. There is no escalation whatsoever whether we are witnessing LaMotta's boxing bouts or personal life. It's just a similar set of events repeated time n again for 125 minutes and that's not enough to keep the interest alive. It's brutal & violent in the ring but it fails to deliver the desired emotional impact because we are just not invested in his journey.
However, from a filmmaking standpoint, Raging Bull is an outstanding piece of work. The staging of events, the era-appropriate set pieces, the boxing choreography, the controlled camerawork, all of it exhibit an exactness that's quite commendable. And as for the performances, Robert De Niro leads the show from the front and delivers a smashing showcase as Jake LaMotta, and he is brilliantly supported by Joe Pesci & Cathy Moriarty who play his brother & wife respectively.
On an overall scale, Raging Bull is impressive in its craftsmanship but the narration is lacking in flavour and becomes repetitive after a while. Scorsese's direction & De Niro's commitment to his role certainly stand out but the longer it goes on, the more wearisome it becomes. Painting a faithful portrait of a character with no redeeming characteristics, Raging Bull is significant from a filmmaking viewpoint but there isn't much to gain by investing in someone who refuses to learn from his own mistakes.
- Sep 29, 2018