By Tom Demerly for tomdemerly.com
Concussion is a knockout that will leave you dizzy from the impact of a movie done so well it is destined for Academy Award greatness.
Director Peter Landesman may have been the only person capable of bringing this incredible drama and great American story to the screen then making it leap into your lap with such rapt pacing and skillful storytelling that you can never look away. In every way Concussion is masterpiece storytelling.
Will Smith and Alec Baldwin may have achieved their greatest roles ever in this important film that showcases the frightening risk of head injuries in professional American football.
The true story traces main character Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian born academic and forensic pathologist with a north-pointing arrow for doing the right thing. His intellect and crusade for the truth are pitted against big American football’s establishment. The result is just like the skull-scrambling impact of players colliding after the ball is snapped.
Concussion masters the difficult art of pacing and dialogue. Simply filmed but opulently cast the movie hits the screen running and never backs off. I am not a football fan nor do I know much about the game, but the insights bring you into a drama turned sports story interwoven with detective thriller and sprinkled in romance that you won’t find in any galaxy far away.
This is the opening that should have set records over the holiday movie season.
There are so many significant and relevant dimensions to the film it is almost too much for one sitting but because of its subtle and precise delivery combined with perfect pacing it is deep, rich but digestible.
One of the most significant features of the story is the starring role that education plays in the true story and the way it is featured in the movie. While sports drama create synthetic heroes dramatized in the guttural ethos of sucking-it-up Concussion celebrates education, determination and a dedication to virtue and truth.
We need a hundred more movies that celebrate virtue and education emanating from real life.
Don’t miss Concussion. It is a brain-swelling impact on the traditionally fluffy holiday film season that hits hard out of left field and will leave your ears ringing.