Dear Million Dollar Baby,
You are simply incredible. I cannot say that enough. Few films have combined humor and tragedy in a way that makes you wish the film would never end. I was at a loss for words as you finished your story. I was shocked, amazed, and humbled by your incredible work.
It is not often that you see a film that surprises you in so many ways. There are storylines that I saw and expected, but when it comes to film, it is about how all of its elements come together to reach the heart-stopping ending. When done well, a great ending will blow your mind, and leave you wanting more of the film.
You begin your story with a narrator, but it isn’t clear who the narrator is speaking to, or why. It is easy to assume the narrator is speaking to the audience, but this is not always the case. As you come to an end, I realize that your work was a story that was intended to be told to the distant daughter of Frankie Dunn.
The image of dysfunctional families has a long history in films. While this may seem as a repetitive narrative form, you brilliantly broke the boundaries of that trend.
A determined woman who wants to live her dream of being a boxing champion and a renowned boxing trainer who insists on not training girls yet cannot deny that he could use a daughter in his life as his real daughter is distant.
So the need of a father figure and the search for a true boxing champion come together brilliantly in this tale of fighting with everything on the line. More than they realize, the trainer and the boxer in your tale have more in common than just their passion for the brutal sport of boxing.
The chemistry that you developed between them was brilliant. It went from beyond a trainer to boxer relationship, to one of a father and daughter. After all, a family is not always made of people who are blood related. That was the love that made up for toughness she did not have.
If you can fight with heart and determination, you will be able to go far. The difference between light weights and heavy weights is not power, but rather the inner strength to take many blows. As any great boxing champ can tell you, it’s not how you start fights; it’s how you finish them.
Being a woman, Maggie was never given a chance to be a boxer. After constantly being told that she wouldn’t be trained because she was a girl, she never stopped trying to impress. It is that fighting spirit that you developed so brilliantly that helped her to get where she wanted to be.
The glory and the victory however, escaped from her when she was as close as she had ever been to realizing her dream. Hours of work, preparation, and dedication came to a tragic end as she suffered a dirty hit that took her to the hospital, and changed her life forever.
While it was not the ending that Maggie or I expected, you demonstrated that life is too precious to waste. You cannot take the highs or the lows of life for granted because they all build your character, and prepare you for all the challenges ahead. If you give life your best shot, you can deliver a knockout punch, and leave peacefully knowing you did.
Humbled by your work,