Foxcatcher (2014) – Ambition, Power, Control

Yes, this is real. Have you ever thought of seeing Jeff, Michael Scott, and Bruce Banner together on the same screen? Neither I am. Surprised again, this isn’t a comedy movie. It’s a biopic drama movie full of tragedy yet inspiration. It’s a thriller drama movie, a dark, long, cold, yet repetitive movie. Bennett Miller’s “Foxcather” isn’t a biopic full of enthusiasm and sweat nor a gripping thriller. Miller loves biography. He works in such a few movies such as “Capote” and “Moneyball”. In most of his movies, he always puts an actor with such a trademark and transfers them into different actors. In a nutshell, you can say it such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill. Certainly, there is Channing Tatum and Steve Carell with their more serious roles.

This is a biopic. So, if you want to watch this movie, don’t ever search the Foxcatcher on the internet. Just watch this movie until finished and then it’s up to you what you want to do again. The movie has quite a lot of surprise twists and suspense. It sets in the 80s. John du Pont (Steve Carell), an eccentric billionaire, formed an American wrestling team called Foxcatcher. Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and his brother, Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo), led the Foxcatcher. They led their team in the next Olympics in Seoul, South Korea in 1988.

To begin with, the premise is very simple. However, honestly, “Foxcatcher” might be a slow movie for a lot of people. The movie didn’t have anything to talk beside the relationship between Schultz brothers and du Pont with his Foxcatcher. Not much dialogue in this movie. To be honest, you don’t expect that this is a movie about wrestling. The movie prefers to play in a cool place. Just like “Capote” and it reminds me of a lot of horror movies. In this another biopic, it’s more like playing with gestures without any dialogue at all. A lot of sequences puts a lot of silence and expression too. It’s leaving the impression of loneliness, isolation and so on. Just like our protagonist, Mark Schultz.

And on top of which, “Foxcatcher” is probably one of the terrifying roles from Steve Carell. Yeah, he played in a lot of more serious movies like, for example, “Little Miss Sunshine”. He didn’t just play as the egoistical comical awkwardly boss who always plays with his friends and colleagues. Regarding the makeup was a little distracting, Carell gave a very different acting gesture. He transformed fully into du Pont perfectly. He is arrogant, cold, eccentric, obsessive, intimidating, and anti-social. Just look at how he stands up, walking around while carrying a gun, and others.

What I love about Miller also is how he gave so much space to his actors. Seymour Hoffman became the Best Actor thanks to his role as Truman Capote. It changing his normal tropes to become another reincarnation of another person. In “Foxcatcher”, it’s not just about Steve Carell. There are Channing Tatum as Mark Ruffalo as well. Both of them gave one of the best actings during their careers. The strength of both of them, and also Carell, doesn’t only depend on how their posture is like a wrestler; even the makeup itself. However, that’s how they communicate with each other. There is one sequence where Tatum shining up himself as Mark Schultz. It’s one of the terrifying roles. Keep in mind, he always cast as a muscular physique with a wacky character type of guy.

Mark Ruffalo is like that. It’s sad how most people always remember an actor just because of some particularly movies. A lot of people are more familiar with Ruffalo because of the Hulk. They have never watched “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind“, “Zodiac”, and others. Yeah, I don’t know for others but it’s just irony and sad, to be honest. But, Ruffalo in this movie also transformed into Dave Schultz like Tatum. The chemistry between the two as siblings is clear and easily conveyed.

Just like “Capote”, Bennet Miller gives a direction to cinematography according to the mood. It’s cold, dark, gloomy, and thrilling at the same time. There are many beautiful wide shots such as in the empty room. The color tone is noticeable as well. On the fact this is a biopic, it tends to convey the theme more by using a feeling of loneliness. It’s quiet but also dull and repetitive. And yet, the plot twist at the end for me is giving me enough subtle pay-off except after the twist. I don’t like that part.

“Foxcatcher” is a biopic thriller drama, feels foreign and cold but also dark yet flat and repetitive. If you watch this without thinking about anything, it might be that you create a new experience. Just watch this movie from any different point of view. This movie isn’t just about Miller but it’s about everyone. It’s about how Tatum, Carell, and Ruffalo gave their best and terrifying performance. The three of them seemed to turn on a new character without having to be in the same zone repeatedly. It’s a colorful movie but feels like a black and white or gray film.

3.5 out of 5 stars.