THE STORY OF A QUICK-TEMPERED YOUNG WOMAN WHO FINDS DISCIPLINE, SELF-RESPECT AND LOVE IN THE BOXING RING. ONCE DIANA DECIDES SHE WANTS TO BECOME A BOXER HER PRIORITIES ARE FORCED INTO FOCUS AS SHE BEGINS A GRUELING TRAININ... more »G REGIMEN.« less
This film is real. It's so real that I forgot it was a film
Linda Linguvic | New York City | 05/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Girlfight is the seemingly simple story of a Diana, a young woman from the projects with an attitude who trains to be a boxer. Played brilliantly by the newcomer Michelle Rodriguez, the role calls for a brooding hostile intensity as well as a deep sensitivity. Diana has to be strong, both physically mentally in order to battle the stereotypes in her macho Latino culture. And Michelle Rodriguez doesn't just have power in her biceps; she has power in her eyes. One of her narrow-eyed scowls says more than pages of dialog. During the film she learns to focus her rage into her boxing, and the joy of her growing control is apparent by the delight on her face. She also falls in love with a young male boxer, Adrian, played by Santiago Douglas, and their relationship has its ups and downs. Eventually, they have to fight each other in the ring. The whole cast is excellent -- Jaime Tirelli as her trainer, Ray Santiago as her little brother, Elisa Bocanegra as her girlfriend, and Paul Calderon as her brutal father. And, in a small cameo performance, the famous director, John Sayles, is cast as a boring science teacher. Later, I discovered that the brilliant 32-year old writer and director of this film, Karyn Kusama, went through some training of her own. She is John Sayles former assistant and this, her first film, has already won all kinds of awards. I predict a long and brilliant career for her as well as the young actress. The entire production deserves a well-earned Bravo! Girlfight is winner on all levels. Don't miss it."
Dont box me in!
Haunui Royal | New Zealand | 02/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"American movies rarely focus on the underclass without (a) glamorising the violence inherent within the 'hood' (b hammer you over the head with its socially redeeming message or (c) milk the rare and the bizarre out of the situation to titilate the overstimulated middle class adolescent audience. To its credit this movie attempts none of these. Director Karyn Kusama and lead Michelle Rodriguez can take a lot of credit and pride for the obvious work and thought that has gone into the making of this movie.It deserves all the accolades it has been awarded.Its naturalistic shooting style and dialogue puts to shame hundreds of movies that have operated on a budget 5 times its scale.Money cant make up for lack of talent or integrity and this movie has that and more.Diana(Michelle Rodriguez)is a young woman with an attitude. Her constant fighting at school consistently gets her in trouble with the school authorities.Her home life isnt much better with a solo dad bitter with failure and a geek younger brother at odds with the tough urban environment. To toughen him up Dad pays for him to learn boxing at what has got to be the most realistic version of the seedy gym ever filmed.She is attracted by the pugilistic world she encounters and persuades the trainer to take her on and train her.The film revolves around the challenges she has to become a boxer and gain respect,the disapproving father and a burgeoning relationship with one of the other boxers.Its sucess comes from its simplicity. The director never overplays her hand and every scene has a ring of authenticity to it.She is served well by the lead actress who acts as if the part was written about her and for her.This almost lowkey documentary approach beautifully mirrors the no BS attitude of the character and the boxing subculture of the nickel and dime gym.Her brooding defiant glare says more about this character than 10 pages of dialogue and aptly is the image used to market the film.Girlfight makes an interesting counterpoint to the othe rave martial movie of the moment,Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon.Both films with a stunning young female protagonist,a film grad student could have a field day (and probably will) comparing the gender and power themes inherent in both films,one yin,one yang,one soft,one hard,one on an epic scale, the other made on the others catering budget. Both a triumph for their respective directors.Great films transcend gender,culture and ideologies.Thats because they reveal truths about the human spirit and soul at a level we all connect to. Girlfight connects with the left, the right, the jab and the uppercut. A winning combination."
Excellent Movie !!!
Diva Latina | Yonkers, NY | 09/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No Wonder Michelle Rodriguez was recognized for this role, she was amazing. Because of the content of this moive, I'm glad the director chose a local girl to play Diana Gúzman. Michelle's acting, thought relatively new, was sincere in every aspect of the word. A girl who is trying to make something of her life at a young age is very rare now-a-days. This a great movie for the younger generation. It portrays hope, desire, ambition, drive, whatever you want to call it. The directing was great: the city scenes, the fighting scenes, and the family scenes sucked you into a world of struggle and survival. I recommend this movie with all sincerity."
PROVE THEM WRONG
Douglas Vance | Bensalem, PA formerly Brooklyn, NY | 01/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prove them wrong. Three short simple words punctuate this Girlfights tagline. Three words that have the effect of a boxing combination even Rocky would be proud of delivering. Prove them wrong, three words that the films protagonist has to live by because everyone and everything seems to be working against her.
Girlfight is the story of a quick-tempered young woman who finds discipline, self-respect and love in the boxing ring. One day, after just having a fight in school, and being warned that she better get her act together or else, she goes to the gym to pick up her brother. After a sparring partner sucker punches her brother, she attacks the boxer. Once Diana decides she wants to become a boxer her priorities are forced into focus as she begins a grueling training regimen in the same gym her brother trains in. Along the way she falls in love with a talented amateur in the same gym.
We are inundated with Hollywood pictures. The money shot, the big budget, the big names. Sometimes with all of that you get a big zero. Then there are the independents. The films that are made with little money, with talented, but not yet famous people, sometimes you get zero here as well. Not this time. Girlfight is one of those small indie pictures that packs a wallop.
Newcomer Michelle Rodriguez is brilliantly enigmatic as the troubled Diana. We can see the adolescent angst in her, and believe her motivations when she wants something more, when she wants to learn to box. Rodriguez not only is able to play the hard edged side to Diana, but the softer, more vulnerable side as well. I hope to see a lot more of her in the near future.
The film won many awards at Sundance, and happened to do well considering that most of the two months it was out, it was only in limited release at less than 100 theatres. Please don't be confused by the title. This is not a soft core piece of fluff, nor is it a film for girls.
This is a film for everyone."
Girl does the boy's fight
kurusehir | ankara, Turkey | 12/07/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Diana Guzman (a charming Michelle Rodriguez) is an high school student with an inherent anger...towards life. When her oppressive father asks her to deliver an amount of money to one of Brooklyn's famous boxing gyms, the meaning of being reveals itself as "Boxing". First comes Boxing to Diana Guzman's life, followed up by Love (with a male boxer- and a later opponent that is). With her love and anger Diana Guzman stands against patriarchal order by doing what this order is basically established upon: using physical force to beat one up. Okay wait, but she does it only in the ring and this is believed to make Diana a better person in school and anywhere outside the ring. But then again she ends up beating the hell out of her father who forces her younger brother Tiny to go boxing when all Tiny wants is to study art; and who does not appreciate Diana's enthusiasm in boxing; and whom Diana holds responsible for her mother's death. A typical american independent film, in the way the problem is presented both visually and scriptwise. Slowly the story is told, with sudden shockingly beatiful scenes (such as the part where two woman boxers are in the ring) and boringly (but very realistically) put love scenes. The female character building up a harsh male attitude against the male order is a bit problematic but still the film is very well directed and the cast, especially rodriguez is very successful. Recommend myself to wait and see Kusama's second film before establishing any prejudice(be it positive or negative) on her career as a director. No words to say on the DVD quality. The soundtrack is really beatiful, the soundtrack is fitting like a glove, and the soundtrack of girlfight is the key element that gets you engaged in the film."