Friday, August 6, 2010

My Left Foot , The Story of Christy Brown (1989)

Stars : Daniel Day Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Ray McAnally, Hugh O'Corner

Directed By : Jim Sheridan 

Written By : Christy Brown (Book), Jim Sheridan, Shane Connaughton

They say where there is a will, there is a way , but I ask what if they way never appeared or if it was never built? That's where the human grit and determination fueled by love passion n dedication paves its own way. My Left Foot , The Story of Christy Brown is the screen adaptation of Christy Brown's autobiography by the same name.

Two white luxury cars arrive in a suburb of Dublin to take Christy Brown and his family to a fund raiser for people suffering from  cerebral palsy. Christy Brown was born in the year 1932 with severe case of cerebral palsy and was essentially paralyzed except for one foot. While doctors and the boy’s father dismissed him as hopelessly retarded his mother never gave up on her son. Christy had 12 brother and sisters and his father was a bricklayer with meager salary but yet his mother taught him to read write and took care of him tirelessly. He rewarded her efforts and love by writing mother as his first full word with chalk on the floor. From their started the actual journey of Christy Brown, a journey that took him through heart break, pain, self pity and to success as a writer, painter and eventually to love and marriage.My Left Foot is the story about the inspirational and magnificent life of Christy Brown.

Daniel Day Lewis plays the title character of  Christy Brown and boy what a performance. Daniel Day's resume is filled with awards for innumerable characters he has played on the screen but this one is special. Daniel always gives each of his character a unique image with his physicality and impressive dialogue delivery but both of his exceptional abilities were bounded in this character, though his character demanded a lot physical effort but he was just bound by the physical situation of the character and still gives Christy Brown a real life screen presence. He lives the character to perfection, always keeping the facial expression, never did he once let his face relax, through out kept the stiffness, with his the neck always titling and those hands tightly gripping his chair. He delivers a memorable performance which rightfully earned him his first Academy Award as best actor. This was Daniel Day Lewis best performance that I have seen.

Christy Brown with his mother
Brenda Fricker as Mrs Brown plays the legendary mom of Christy Brown. She was a surprise for me, I know Daniel Day Lewis is a great actor and to see someone hold her own in front of him was surely new for me. She play the the character to perfection, after looking at the pictures of Mrs Brown I have to say even resembled her quite a lot too. Her expressions were perfect, there were few scenes where she just made me emotional by bringing almost true emotions on the screen. When Christy writes his first word her eyes said a lot and her face just lights up. In almost every scene she brings those feelings, compassion and determination. Although her character was very strong, very passionate and extremely powerful but the honesty and innocence she brings to the character is just eternal. One of the best support acts I have ever seen.

A lot of credit also goes to Ray McAnally playin Mr. Paddy Brown Christy's father, a brickie and a man who likes to be obeyed and in command. His acting adds a lot of authenticity to the character. His performance in scenes of hatred for Christy and after being laid off are was really good. The whole cast actually did very well to keep the emotional factor of the movie intact. I feel Hugh O'Corner deserves special applause for his portrayal of Christy Browns childhood. He kept that pain through out on his face and every time he made an effort to drag or write it actually felt like he was in real pain, a highly commendable performance from him.

Jim Sheriden does a bloody good job by capturing the emotion of the charcters and keeping the sensitivity of the movie. There are some very poignant scenes in the movie and a lot of credit goes to Jim for shooting them so briliantly. He puts in hummour too in a very sentimental and emotional movie and which works very well for the movie. Jim also desrves credit for bringing out best from each of his artists and turning a wonderful script into an even more brilliant movie.

The movie is no doubt exceptional but whats more extraordinary is life of Christy Brown who lived through it,being struck in a wheelchair and limited by his physical condition all his life, Christy and Mrs Bridget Brown prove that if one can dream and aspire for it, its achievable. The movie was nominated for six Academy Awards with Daniel Day Lewis and Brenda Fricker winning it for their portrayal of Christy Brown and Bridget Brown respectively. A remarkable movie about an equally remarkable man, a must watch.
 
Plus : Daniel Day Lewis and Brenda Fricker's performance.

Minus : None

Rating : 9/10

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

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saurav a.k.a tats said...

the first line of the review says it all..one really makes me wonder how people find out such gritty stories and then manage to put it in form of motion picture beautifully..and to add to it the marvellous performances of Daniel Day Lewis,Brenda Fricker , Fiona Shaw,Hugh o' Connor to name a few.

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