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Stronger — ‘triumph over adversity’

Stronger — ‘triumph over adversity’

April 07
20:48 2018

Directed by David Gordon Green, 2017


The story of Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman, adapted from his memoir, is as harrowing as it is ultimately heartening.

A double-leg amputation and ensuing descent into despair turns an insouciant young man into a bent, haunted creature: flashbacks depict the bombing’s fallen as viscerally as a Delacroix battle scene. Meanwhile, Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal) morphs into an American hero, even as he is crumbling inside: enlisted as a flag-waving mascot for the Boston Bruins, the stadium heaving like an evangelical congregation; enjoined for a selfie even by the cop who stops him for reckless driving; blessed with the promise of a visit from Oprah Winfrey.

More than a simple tale of triumph over adversity, the film is also a comment on celebrity as modern-day religion and our insatiable lust for heroes.


The Financial Times Limited 2018. All rights reserved.

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