Apparently about a girl that wants to become a boxer, the movie is actually not about boxing, let alone female boxing. The film raises the question, can the desire to end one’s life ever be justified or at least understood.
In other words, it is about euthanasia, a word coined from the Greek for “good death” or “pleasant death,” but which actually is a euphemism for murder, or self-murder, justified by criteria supplied by a society so addicted to its god of pleasure and pride that, when that god fails, the universe should properly end.
Eastwood attempts to elevate the film to the status of a true ethical dilemma by having his character visit a priest periodically to discuss deep issues. However, these discussions miscarry. The message, also consistent with the conceit of our age, seems to be that the mere raising of “deep” questions is a sign of spirituality. But those of us that have followed the career of Woody Allen have seen through the sham of that. Always learning, never knowing.
For plotting, pacing, and structure this movie is excellent, possibly Clint Eastwood’s best.
It is, I submit, objectively painful to see females boxing. One can imagine worse things, but one has to strain. How about: a girl wearing heavy boots and heaving a live grenade into a foxhole while being torn up by machine gun bullets.
But why subject ourselves to such images?
Perhaps the grotesqueness of the image is a metaphor for the theme the movie wants to bring home: fight and win, or die. That’s what life is. Nurturing is another illusion for the self-deceived.
That’s what life without God is in fact. I don’t recommend wallowing in it.