Imagine that your whole life is conditioned and developed in such a way that you become a certain type of personality, adapted to the pattern you want to get from your family and environment. What happens when you realize that you are a square peg in a round hole and that everything you have been taught has nothing to do with your feelings? Most people suppress it and continue to live as expected, struggling with their identity, closing themselves off from the mirror while living as other expect.
This is the main puzzle of “Punch”, a new action movie from New Zealand and the primary feature film from director Webley Angus. In it, Jim (Jordan Oster Hoff) is a fierce brawler in impeccable form who sacrifices many aspects of youth to dedicate himself to boxing. That was his father’s plan. Stan is his coach, but at the same time a shady alcoholic who quietly but stubbornly gets involved in his son’s training. The character played by Tim Roth is a disaster in motion. The two men grow apart as Jim finds new ways to self-identify thanks to a new friend, Veto (Conan Hayes). The result is a poetic, sad and inspiring little film about coming to terms with your own identity.
“Punch” is the story of a young boxer who brawls against expectations.
Punch is located in a very small beach town in New Zealand, where Jim lives alone with his father Stan. Jim is preparing for his biggest brawl to date, Stan trained him intensely in his temporary gym attached to the house. Prosaic and patient throughout the primary act, the film tells the story of a young man who works out, spends time with his friends and his girlfriend, runs to the beach and argues with his father. Jim is a stereotypical athlete, a popular boy surrounded by popular boys of low level in the hierarchy of masculinity. When he brawls, testosterone is released, but despite this and his public recognition, he is a much more sensitive and empathetic person than his peer.
n the end, it revolves around Whit, a young man rejected and brutally bullied at his school. Huitu stays in his arms and, despite his anger with the world, he primary learned to enjoy his company and live in peace with himself, preparing to leave the small town forever. When one day Whit helps Jim at the beach, giving primary aid for a Jellyfish sting, Jim gets acquainted with an extremely steep beach hut that Whit built himself. At the gym, the flower of compliment, respect and gratitude blooms is someone who strikes up an honest friendship with Whit, which is far from all the testosterone-based expectations of Jim’s normal relationship.
Unfortunately, Jim’s broad approach does not change the rueful perception of other people in the city, and Whit becomes the target of lewd bullying. Through a poetic and wobbly movie tography and a silent and touching sound and music, the film details the challenges that both young people face in opposing the traditional system. Jim is different from his friends and he can’t change them, so accepting his personality means demolishing his friendships and relationships, no matter how imitation they are. Oster Hoff is great as a young boxer despite all these brawling trials, as he is immobile preparing for a big brawl.
Strong character, despite the well-trodden paths.
While Oster Hoff spent a lot of time training for boxing, sometimes several hour a day training five days a week, Punch is not a boxing movie at all. He calls me more by his name than by his faith. It is certainly characterized by a realistic boxing environment (and a very appropriate osterhof), but for that matter, Punch is an anti-boxing movie. Boxing is connected with bullying, male anger, gender stereotypes and the repressed bitterness that is connected with it. Ultimately, Jim’s path is to decide whether he wants to be a boxer (and brawl his identity) or not (and brawl.
Hayes is great in the role of Whit, an independent, funny but immobile troubled young man who avoids all the family connections and stifling systems of his small town. He will always stand up for himself, even if it prevents him from doing so, and he always speaks his mind. He’s a great character, and it makes sense for him to open up something in the gym and let him see a part of himself that he’s never had before.
To find out that their friendship is really interesting and often beautiful in cartoons. However, the film often lacks the clichés of romantic dramas or even boxing movies. Pleasant moments, romantic subtitles and bold gestures sometimes seem like traditional and stuck tropes that do not have to be connected with such a poetic, uninhibited and rebellious film.
The great Tim Roth and the young cameraman make “Punch” powerful.
Ruth, however, is not taken from any other film. His portrayal of the role of Stan is one of the best aspects of Punch and one of its most engaging character. He doesn’t talk much, but Ruth does wonder with the lack of dialogue, filling Stan with fatigue, guilt, love and stubbornness, even if he doesn’t deliver a brilliant monologue. He is weak, but at the same time stern; pathetic, but with quiet dignity; loving, but desperate. A whole world is hidden behind his character; maybe Punch would have been great if he had discovered more, or maybe the elements of an secret puzzle would have made it more interesting.