Tribeca Review: “Chuck” (2016) ★★★★★

One day you’re a man who sells liquor on the main streets of New Jersey, tomorrow you’re someone who stands in the ring for fifteen rounds to fight with Mohammad Ali. Yes, the real-life inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s ROCKY BALBOA.  Indeed, any dream can come true and Chuck Wepner’s life is prove to that… But remember, every dream has an expiration date… and it all depends on the individual who is in charge of that particular dream or his ability to control it….

It begins with Rocky Balboa’s saying: “Hey, who cared about me yesterday? Nobody”. Then, Chuck Wepner’s voice, narrated by Liev Schreiber will be heard where he takes the viewer step by step to its up and downs… through his famous fight, personal issues, and legal prosecution. As you will take a trip down to his past, you will find him as an important figure of New Jersey, a humble married man with a little daughter, a womanizer and more importantly as a person who did not know how to handle sudden fame.…

We already learn that Chuck has a rocky relationship with his wife Phyllis Wepner, a woman whose patience knew no boundaries, until he helps her to cross that. With the help of Liev Schreiber and Elizabeth Moss’ performance, you will realize the two were never meant for each other or it was just bad timing for both them. When Chuck becomes the New Jersey champion, Mohammad Ali expresses his desire to fight with a white man… it happens that it was Chuck Wepner who was the only white man in top ten list, and most qualified to share the same boxing ring with the legendary Ali.

Despite many people expecting a quick fight, the fight between the two turns into a fifteen round battle, that eventually despite losing, Chuck becomes a celebrity. But that celebrity status does not push Linda, a bartender, to take advantage of Chuck’s advances. And that’s the most sweet and humane thing about her. Knowing more or less about his troubled marriage, Linda keeps a safe distance from Chuck. But it’s Chuck whose personal life was as if it was a boxing match with an abnormal amount of  punches in the face yet still moving forward to find the perfect center to balance in his life..…

CHUCK is a truly outstanding movie with an excellent storytelling and worthwhile seeing biopic  about a man who learns the hard way that when you reach rock bottom, there is only one way – up. Convincing performance from Liev Schreiber helps you to study Chuck Wepner’s persona in the best way possible. Elizabeth Moss’ most nuanced performance is applaudable. Naomi Watts as Linda Wepner delivers an honest and down to Earth performance where you will truly fall in love with her character. In the end, CHUCK is a film which deserves every minute of your time, if not more. It’s well executed and has not even a single scene to complain about. And I am sure, you won’t either no matter how harsh you can be as a viewer….

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