Saturday, 19 February 2011

The Fighter

The Fighter. Directed by David O. Russell

A look at the early years of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward and his brother who helped train him before going pro in the mid 1980s.

Design: BLT Associates
If you are in Hollywood and have a movie to promote these seem to be the 'go to' guys.

On first look, there is noting too out of the ordinary with this poster, in fact it seems too ordinary and that is where it starts to lure you in. In the last post Natalie Portman had been Photoshopped almost to abstraction but both Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg are looking relatively normal here, and this is the one of the key things that makes this poster work.  

The Fighter is based on the true life story of Massachusetts born boxer Micky Ward and it is this 'truth' which is the main theme of this release (in a similar way that 'time' was in 127 Hours). The shot of the two main characters has a candid, almost snap shot, documentary feel to it. It shows the two characters aren't engaging with each other, they aren't even looking in the same direction, there is a sense of time passing, for some reason 'Waiting For Godot' springs to mind. The first time I glanced at this poster I though the two actors were leaning on a fence or over a car roof, it was only on a second look that the I noticed Wahlberg was sporting a pair of boxing gloves and that tied the image back to the context of the boxing ring.

The typography is well balanced and contained at the top third of the poster leaving the bottom two thirds free for the image . The use of a simple rule neatly divides the actor credits from the title balancing them out and giving them both an equal billing. The use of Gotham is a good choice as well, it probably still  has a lot of resonance especially in America having been used on The Freedom Tower in 2004 and extensively seen in the Obama Presidential campaign. It has an openness and honesty to it which can only help when your retelling a true story.

Unlike the other films so far The Fighter doesn't have a series, simply a teaser poster which looks a lot more Hollywood and probably pre-dates the Gotham and structure used in the main poster and a more Hollywood, star driven version, this version holds on the the Gotham and the use of black and white hints towards the journalistic and towards other fight films such as Clint Eastwood's unforgettable Million Dollar Baby. I have also come across a couple of 'interpretations' which I thought worth including if for nothing else to hold up against the originals.

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