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Not since Raging Bull has there been such an incredibly stirring boxing drama which will engage audiences through the psychological study of a man trying to right his life.  This is largely done so through the intense performance of Johnny Harris in the pivotal role.

Jimmy McCabe has been evicted from his housing estate and is homeless and destitute. He needs to make some quick money to get his life back on track so he tries to recapture the boxing success he had as a youth, but his battle with alcoholism and constant anger issues impede his path to prosperity.

Dark and gritty, the atmosphere of despair and hopelessness are accentuated by scenes principally filmed at night in seedy locations. There’s no joy in this story of a depersonalised man who is clearly on the road to self-destruction.

Harris’s realistic performance is enhanced by a brilliant script that delivers powerful dialogue such as “I’m a fighter, but I can’t fight this and I think I might need some help” which heartbreakingly resonates that human resilience can be convincingly shattered by an addiction.

This depressing humourless tale slowly builds to a climactic jaw-breaking sequence and audiences will momentarily ponder whether there’s a possibility of new beginnings or even slight optimism for this lost soul. (MMo)

★★★★

Screening at the British Film Festival. Tickets & Info: www.britishfilmfestival.com.au