Foxcatcher is a tightly wound story that sustains a brutal intensity
Based on true events, Foxcatcher tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely yet ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers.
du pont's majestic world
The movie focuses primarily on Channing Tatum's character, Mark Schultz— a determined young wrestler with Olympic aspirations. A sort of lonely hero, if you will. Mark's brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo), is one of the finest Olympic wrestlers ever. Dave has resorted to coaching more than competing, with Mark being his best student. They travel around the world competing in wrestling bouts, leading to Mark becoming Olympic champion. But a phone call out of nowhere from wealthy heir John du Pont (Steve Carrell) leads younger brother Mark to meet with him.
Mark is offered the chance of a lifetime. Du Pont has built a state-of-art training facility named Foxcatcher Farm on his estate. Du Pont's idea is to form a team of wrestlers to train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Mark jumps at the oppourtunity and sees this as his chance to jump out of his revered brother's shadow. On the flip side, du Pont sees backing Mark's bid for gold the chance to coach a world-class wrestling team and his opportunity to gain the elusive respect of his peers, but more importantly, his disapproving mother (Vanessa Redgrave).
Entranced by du Pont's majestic world, Mark grows increasingly reliant on his approval. Du Pont's mercurial personality turns, and he begins to lure Mark into a unhealthy lifestyle of taking drugs, which threatens to undermine his training. Soon his erratic behaviour leads to cruel psychological game-play that erodes away at the athletes already shaky self-esteem. Meanwhile, du Pont starts to become fixated on Dave, who exudes the confidence both he and Mark lack, knowing this is something money cannot buy.
Foxcatcher has Tatum doing astonishing physical acting. I cared deeply about Tatum, as much as I did about Mark Schultz. He certainly has the physical body of a wrestler with his performances on the wrestling mat exemplifying that. Along with the physical element, the psychological punishment his character endures supplies the bedrock for the story. Tatum has certainly come a long way as an actor these past few years. He is fully aware of his potential as a lead and movies such as Foxcatcher are certainly the projects he should look to pursue in the future.
Mark Ruffalo has always been a solid performer. His character as the more mentally tough and wiser of the two brothers suits his range as an actor. The character of Dave Schultz was the most fascinating of the three leads. He was the glue that held Team Foxcatcher together; Mark knew he could lean on him in his hour of need and du Pont needed Dave for the team to be successful. Ruffalo and director Bennett Miller paint Dave as the innocent victim in this twisted tale. Dave is used within the context of the story as the one who gains a firmer understanding of du Pont's unnerving personality but is unable to foresee the paranoia that escalated within the unhinged du Pont.
Steve Carell finds himself in a role unlike most heʼs done before and delivers a performance of great intellect with precise timing. Heʼs almost as accomplished at dramatic tragedy as he is at comedy. Carell plays du Pont with the understanding that inherited wealth can be a catalyst for an inflated self-appointed heir of power. His character oozes a beastly and unnerving figure, thoroughly emphasised by a sense of real desperation and sadness.
Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher is a layered tale focussed on the warped character Carell portrays, who is an uncomfortable monster of wealth and power. It's a tightly wound story that sustains a brutal intensity throughout its duration.