Two Fists One Heart
- Director:Shawn Seet
- Cast:Daniel Amalm, Ennio Fantastichini, Jessica Marais, Tim Minchin
- Release Date:March 19, 2009
- Distributor:Walt Disney
- Running time:105 minutes
- Film Worth:$12.50
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“...an audacious, big-hearted genre piece...”
The pugilistic arts make for a fertile dramatic landscape. From Errol Flynn in Gentleman Jim and Paul Newman in Somebody Up There Likes Me through to Rocky and Raging Bull, Ali and Cinderella Man: the stories of doubt, faith and redemption through bone-crushing adversity are all inherently similar, but ultimately it's the journey that's the key.
In Two Fists, One Heart, debut director Shaun Seet and screenwriter Rai Fazio explore the genre from an Australian perspective, telling the story of young Italian-Australian boxer Anthony Argo (Daniel Amalm). Anthony starts to question his desire to continue boxing after winning a bout in his hometown of Perth. His overbearing Sicilian father-trainer Joe (Ennio Fantastichini) preaches unquestioning devotion to the sport, but Anthony soon all but sidelines his fighting aspirations when he falls for Kate (Jessica Marais), a quiet girl who lives with her musician brother, Tom (Tim Minchin). It's only when Joe starts to train a rival fighter that jealousy rears its head, and Anthony decides to earn back his father's respect in the ring. There are strong echoes of Rocky throughout some sequences in the film, particularly when Anthony takes on strongarm duties as a favour for a friend.
While Daniel Amalm lacks the rousing charisma necessary for a crowd pleasing lead, he capably shoulders the drama as a fighter struggling to express himself in ways other than with his fists. As his domineering father Joe, Fantastichini delivers a forceful and heartfelt performance; likewise, screenwriter/actor Rai Fazio amps up proceedings with charismatic and brutish intensity as Anthony's nemesis, Nico.
Two Fists, One Heart is an audacious, big-hearted genre piece; it punches above its weight at times, but by the final rounds of its inevitable denouement, it's firing on all cylinders.