2017-09-22 08:02

What it's about:

Stronger is the inspiring true story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city, becoming a symbol of hope following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. It is Jeff’s deeply personal account of the heroic journey that tests a family’s bond, defines a community’s pride and inspires his inner courage to overcome devastating adversity.

What we thought:

On 15 April 2014 Jeff Bauman stood at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon clutching a sign in his hands.

He was trying to win back his then ex-girlfriend, Erin Hurley. The couple split because Jeff was a bit of a homebody who didn’t like to leave his apartment. 

But on that day he showed up. He had a lot to prove to Erin. Showing up on that day would alter both Erin and Jeff’s lives forever. 

Two homemade explosive devices made by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev would rip through the cheering crowds, killing three people and leaving 264 injured.

Jeff was one of those injured. He lost both his legs when the bombs went off.

AP photographer Charles Krupa was on the scene and captured the exact moment Carlos Arredondo, wearing a cowboy hat, rushed a bloody Jeff to safety. This graphic picture shook the world.

Stronger, directed by David Gordon Green, is based on this true life story of how Jeff became a symbol of hope in the darkest of times. His face became synonymous with the slogan “Boston Strong” - showing resilience in the face of terror.

The film not only explores how Jeff coped with his new disability but also his reluctance to be branded a hero when all he was trying to do was survive. He barely had enough courage in him to save himself, let alone a whole country counting on him to be the superhero they so desperately needed.

Whilst trying to cope with the mounting pressure Jeff goes off the rails and sinks into a pit of depression. Ultimately it was Jeff’s sense of humour that was his saving grace.

Jake Gyllenhaal takes on the daunting task of portraying Jeff in this heart-breaking biographical drama. He completely transforms on the screen and delivers one of his most powerful performances to date. From Jeff’s mannerisms to his wicked sense of humour, Jake fully submerges himself in the role.

Stronger takes the viewer on a gut-wrenching journey that shows the consequences of terrorism, unapologetically. It does not glamorise or feed on the act of terrorism itself – in fact the moment of the explosion isn’t shown in the film and is instead out of focus and only takes up about 10 seconds on the screen.

Stronger offers up the raw truth of what happens when the media moves on to the next story and the world focuses their attention elsewhere.  You will cry, you will laugh, but most importantly you will be moved by this harrowing true story.

Read more on:    jake gyllenhaal  |  movies  |  stronger

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