Saturday, June 04, 2011
THE GREAT FIGHT - HOBOKEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
THE GREAT FIGHT
Directed by Sherri Kauk
Written and produced by Kenneth Del Vecchio
Miguel Jarquin-Moreland (Anthony Rodriguez)
THE GREAT FIGHT
In the theater lobby after the screening on Opening Night
Photo by Eric Roffman
Kenneth Del Vecchio’s film, THE GREAT FIGHT, directed by Sherri Kauk is very good.
It is the story of an autistic savant, of high school age, who has special, extraordinary intuitive skills as a fighter. He is taken under the tutelage of a policeman who once was an MMA upcoming fighter, and now owns an MMA school.
MMA = Mixed Martial Arts, and is a brutal kind of fighting in which kicking, wrestling and punching are all allowed, and the boundary is not a flexible rope, but a steel cage.
The story takes place in a small town in new Jersey and, appropriately, the characters speak in New Jersey voices, not with Hollywood diction, look like New Jersey people, not like Hollywood actors, and some scenes take place in and around New Jersey courtrooms that do not look like Hollywood courts, involving New Jersey judges and policemen that have an authenticity that is not made in Hollywood.
Frank Giglio -- who is not a professional actor, but rather a policeman and martial arts instructor, and is, in fact, the inspiration for elements of the story – plays a policeman and martial arts instructor. He is natural and interesting in front of the camera, and makes a powerful presence. Miguel Jarquin-Moreland, who plays the autistic young man, is really terrific; he is someone to watch.
While the ambiance and acting are excellent, the film’s love story is a bit timid, as is the way it shows MMA fights, which – as shown on television – are much more physical and bloody than the fights shown here.
The writer, Del Vecchio (a former prosecutor and judge, and currently a politician -- he's running for the NJ State Senate on the Republican line -- as well as filmmaker), seems to be wearing his heart on his pencil: he does not like prosecutors who overstep the law, and does like cops who act with compassion and understanding. He also seems to like the violence of MMA. He is sensitive to (non-English speaking) characters who seem to be criminal, but are in fact victims who need help.
The writing is simple and straightforward, though it’s a little too simplistic in a plot-line involving the prosecutor. The dialog is natural and authentic. And the screenplay avoids the usual clichés in films about a developing love, or the buildup to a “great fight”. So I liked the way it ends.
HOBOKEN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
THE GREAT FIGHT - IMDB
THE GREAT FIGHT -- OFFICIAL SITE
KENNETH DEL VECCHIO - WRITER, PRODUCER
SHERRI KAUK - DIRECTOR
FRANK GIGLIO (Nick Tantino)
MIGUEL JARQUIN-MORLAND (Anthony Rodriguez)
SUZY KAYE (Cassie Rodriguez)