There are many dramas based on true events that seem almost exclusively designed to put the faces of real people in the credits while explanatory posters come out recounting what happened after the events of the film. But some manage to downplay lazy tendencies and realize jack, knight, and king to do something a little more meaningful.
Because right now a drama of this style is assumed as a hook for awards like the Oscars, especially for the actors involved, but some are leave enough of the template to make exploration more meaningful and, why not say it, inspiring. It is the case of ‘stronger‘, a remarkable film with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany that can be seen on Amazon Prime Video (also on Movistar+ and Starzplay).
Strength in the face of adversity
The film follows the painful story of Jeff Bauman, played by a transformed Gyllenhaal. This man from Boston attended the city marathon in 2013 as a self-improvement challenge and to try to win back his ex-girlfriend, played by Maslany. But in that race there was a horrific bombing that claimed three lives and caused injuries and injuries to 144 of the attendees.
Bauman is one of those deeply wounded by the bombing. The explosion caused the loss of his legs, and the film follows the hard physical and mental rehabilitation process that must follow. Not only does it follow the pain of Gyllenhaal’s character, but it also focuses on everyone around him, from family and friends -including the aforementioned ex-partner- to authorities and health personnel who do their work to try to help people like the.
It is precisely in those moments of care by the health team, trying to help Bauman to process his trauma and his loss as well as his physical pain, where ‘Stronger’ manages to distinguish itself from the kind of movie you expect from it. Here director David Gordon Green manages to make an empathic and careful exploration of this tragedy, recovering the naturalism of his first films in contrast to comedies like ‘Superfumados’ or horror films like the latest ‘Halloween’.
‘Stronger’: intense pain
The aforementioned naturalism serves history in a stupendous way, which escapes from various commonplaces by show without too much fuss everything that hurts the process for its protagonist and also for the character of Maslany, who receives better treatment than usual for this kind of somewhat ungrateful female role.
The film dares with sequences that other tapes would discard for being too intenselike one in which the bandages on his legs are changed for the first time, and they are shot in a way that is not excessively graphic nor is it intended to show off Gyllenhaal.
That tenderness and care in scenes are examples of how this adult film enhances, which instead of exploiting the spectator’s emotions based on melodramatism, he decides to focus on the processing of the trauma, in the need to recover the physical but also the mental, and in the support network that surrounds the sufferer. Even though it may not be successful for all its purposes, it is a film with details to appreciate and that deserved to be considered as something more than its actor’s attempt to get an Oscar.