I watched a wicked movie the other day. It was made in 1980 and starred Robert De Niro. It was called Raging Bull and is the true story of an American middle weight boxer during the 1940s decade. The boxer is Jake La Motta - an New York born man of Italian decent. Today, Jake La Motta is still alive and is 92 years of age.
I remember seeing the adverts at the train stations in London when this movie was doing the circuit, but I didn't fancy watching it at the time. It was one that slipped through the net. Even with the onset of video and the opportunity to catch all those films one missed; I still shied away from this movie.
Then on a whim, I saw it on DVD in a junk shop for 50p and for some reason I decided to give it ago because Robert De Nero is a fine actor and Joe Pesci is in it and it is also a Martin Scorsese production. I had not realised it was Martin Scorsese. That flicked a switch and also Joe Pesci too. Remembering these combinations in The Goodfellas and Casino, I decided I might be missing something.
Its all in Black and White, which gives the viewer a real retro 1940s feel. Robert De Niro's portrayal of Jake La Motta is terrific. What I liked about this movie is the vulnerability of the character. Although the focal person is a champion and an achiever, his private life is a mess because he is so paranoid about what is going on about him. The way he treats his beautiful wife is horrendous. He seems to destroy all the ones about him that he loves because of his inward paranoid feelings.
I hated this man but was compelled by him all the same. He was so determined in the boxing ring but his inner battle with his own gremlins made him a vile and despicable person. It is a wonderfully crafted movie and I would highly recommend this.