‘Stronger’ film review
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Earlier this year, the film Patriots Day focused on the people who tracked down the Tsarnaev brothers, the men behind the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Now, there is another film about the bombing that focuses on the true story of one of the victims, who has also become the face of the bombing: Stronger.
Jeff Bauman (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) is a meat worker at a local Costco in Boston who raises money for his girlfriend, Erin Burley (Tatiana Maslany), to run in the Boston Marathon. At the last minute, he attends the marathon to support her, and there he experiences the moment that would change his life forever, as he is caught in one of the explosions and loses both of his legs. After the bombing, he begins to recover and walk again.
Director David Gordon Green is known for making dramas and comedies. This time he has crafted a serious film about a man who has to go through a lot of hard times as he recovers, though Green puts comedic moments before and after Bauman loses both of his legs. Like Patriots Day, Stronger shows how special the Boston community is, and how everyone in the city is very supportive of their local sports teams including their beloved Boston Red Sox. The scene where Bauman waves a flag during a Boston Bruins playoff game was actually filmed in TD Garden with an actual audience after a Boston Bruins game.
Around the time the bombing happened, many people in the media said that Bauman was a hero because he gave the FBI information about the Tsarnaev brothers behind the bombings. In the film, Bauman does not want to be called a hero or to receive the public’s pity. This causes a rift between him and his mother, Patty (Miranda Richardson), because she wants him to receive a lot of attention, which he does not want. The second half of the film shows how he inspires a lot of people outside of the bombing. Even those who serve in the military and have lost limbs have been motivated by his story, even though Bauman himself was not in the troops.
There were a lot of great performances from everyone in the film, and this might earn Gyllenhaal a Best Actor nomination in the Academy Awards next year.
The film is now in theatres everywhere.
If you’d like to learn about the Boston Marathon bombing, I recommend watching Patriots Day and Stronger back-to-back when the latter is available on DVD and Blu-ray. You can see how Bauman inspired a lot of people because the event made him and everyone else stronger.