8 Mile (Widescreen Edition)
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"Eminem wins by a knockout!" raves Rolling Stone, as the Grammy Award-winning phenomenon makes his feature film debut in this gripping story about the boundaries that hold us back - and the courage that can set us free. For Jimmy Smith, Jr. (Eminem), life is a daily fight just to keep hope alive. Feeding his dreams in Detroit's vibrant music scene, Jimmy wages an extraordinary personal struggle to find his own voice - and earn a place in a world where rhymes rule, legends are born and every moment… is another chance. From Academy Award winner Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential) and Oscar-winning producer Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind), 8 Mile is the triumphant film Time Magazine hails as "Powerful!" and Entertainment Weekly applauds as "Electrifying and Mesmerizing!"
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The main character, aptly played by Eminem, lives and works in a gritty part of Detroit. Even the hues in the film are muted to add to the dismal environment that Rabbit is trying to endure. Rabbit has skills, and his friends know he has skills; he’s just got to “bring it.” As his talent and confidence grow each of Rabbit’s friends have different ideas of what success looks like for him, as well as how success might look for each member of the group. One by one, Rabbit realizes that how his friends define success is not how he defines success. They all want the external rewards; Rabbit wants to overcome his challenges while being true to himself. As obstacles and opportunities present themselves – such as his work at the factory, his situation with his mom, participating in rap battles, and encouragement from Brittany Murphy’s character – Rabbit grows in his determination and conviction.
Without giving away too much, in the final scenes/rap battle, he realizes who he is, accepts it, and proudly proclaims it, and in doing so, establishes a line that he dares others to cross. It took the whole movie to percolate and boil over to have this dramatic ending. To me, the final sequence was so effective it made me want to know what happens next to Rabbit. This movie has no “happy ending,” per se; it’s more like witnessing the metamorphosis of a character. It would take another movie to see how far Rabbit goes with his skills and confidence. If you’re into music/rap, consider giving this movie a shot. Be patient, watch the whole thing, note how Rabbit’s relationships with his friends change and deepen, and see how this plays out in the end.
(rated R for language)
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