Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
This film is real. It's so real that I forgot it was a film.
on May 19, 2001
Girlfight is the seemingly simple story of a Diana, a young woman from the projects with an attitude who trains to be a boxer. Played brilliantly by the newcomer Michelle Rodriguez, the role calls for a brooding hostile intensity as well as a deep sensitivity. Diana has to be strong, both physically mentally in order to battle the stereotypes in her macho Latino culture. And Michelle Rodriguez doesn't just have power in her biceps; she has power in her eyes. One of her narrow-eyed scowls says more than pages of dialog. During the film she learns to focus her rage into her boxing, and the joy of her growing control is apparent by the delight on her face. She also falls in love with a young male boxer, Adrian, played by Santiago Douglas, and their relationship has its ups and downs. Eventually, they have to fight each other in the ring.
The whole cast is excellent -- Jaime Tirelli as her trainer, Ray Santiago as her little brother, Elisa Bocanegra as her girlfriend, and Paul Calderon as her brutal father. And, in a small cameo performance, the famous director, John Sayles, is cast as a boring science teacher. Later, I discovered that the brilliant 32-year old writer and director of this film, Karyn Kusama, went through some training of her own. She is John Sayles former assistant and this, her first film, has already won all kinds of awards. I predict a long and brilliant career for her as well as the young actress. The entire production deserves a well-earned Bravo! Girlfight is winner on all levels. Don't miss it.