On numerous occasions, both players had shown behaviors commonly known to be totally unacceptable in any serious game. For example, in Game 1, after Fischer made what looked like a bad move, Spassky said to him: "You don't look well, Robert James"! Such a provocative remark would have been totally unacceptable and Spassky would have been given a severe warning. In any serious game, conversations between players are strictly forbidden - the only exceptions being if you want to adjust pieces on the board or if you want to offer a draw. Earlier in that game, Fischer complained about the noisy video cameras when Spassky was on the move. Any complaint, even if valid, would have to be made on your own time and not when your opponent's clock is running. See more »
Was hesitant to watch this - didn't like the casting of Maguire as Fischer. Ended up watching it anyway out of curiosity as this story has intrigued me for many years. I still think Maguire was the wrong choice to play Fischer. I would like to have seen Ryan Gosling or a younger Josh Lucas attempt it. At least somebody who could carry off that particular New York accent as that was one of his hallmarks for me. But that notwithstanding, if Tobey was the only choice available then I think he did a hell of a good job. I really enjoyed this. Edward Zwick knows how to put a movie together. Great supporting performances from Sarsgaard, Stuhlbarg and Schreiber. Having followed the story before I got the general impression they were trying to remain faithful to what happened at the chess championship in '72. I'm not sure how much of the mental illness stuff I buy. Clearly there was some kind of paranoia going on there - and the film deals with that well - but I think a lot is projected onto this after the fact. Secondary gains. A lot is conveniently bundled into the mental illness bucket which may just have just been the man's world view. And I think that is disrespectful to a brilliant man who is no longer here to defend himself. But that's not so much a criticism of the film as the general view of Fischer out there now. That said, I think this particular film probably handled it more respectfully than most would have done. So overall it was a lot better than expected. Definitely worth a watch - it's an extraordinary real life story about the extremes of obsession required to compete at that level, and the toll that it can, and often does, take. A subject not too often tackled in a world that worships competition for prizes.
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