Stronger (2017) Review:
Stronger is about Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal) who lost his leg in the Boston Marathon bombing on 15 April 2013. Screenwriter John Pollono, adapted the screenplay from the book written by Jeff Bauman and Bret Witter. The film is directed by David Gordon Green for Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions.
Stronger begins with the bombing and continues with the struggles that Jeff Baum had to go through after the bombing. Jake Gyllenhaal plays as Jeff Bauman and Tatiana Maslany as his on-again-off-again girlfriend Erin Hurley. At the very beginning, Erin tells how Jeff never shows up for anything. However, when Jeff meets her in a bar during the Red Sox game, she tells him about the marathon. And, Jeff tells her that he will be there at the finish line. So, Jeff finally shows up with a sign to see his ex-girlfriend cross the finish line. The bomb goes off and Jeff loses both his legs. From that moment on and until the end of the film, Jeff is considered as a hero and a symbol for the city.
Erin doesn’t know what to do with Jeff being in the hospital. She finds herself in a guilty position as when he finally showed up, this happens. Erin tries to spend more time with Jeff and helps him during this difficult time of his life. While the whole city and Jeff’s family celebrates him as a hero, only Erin knows about the internal struggle that Jeff goes through. Jeff doesn’t want to let down his family.
Everybody cares for Jeff but they ultimately get caught up in the excitement because of all the spotlight and his celebrity activities. Jeff tries to stay away from the spotlight and reject the heroic image that is thrust upon him just for being a survivor. Tatiana Maslany plays the part perfectly and because of her realistic character, Jeff starts to realize the mistakes. Even when Jeff is cruel to Erin, she doesn’t let go off. And at the same time, Erin doesn’t put up with his terrible behavior. There is some kind of bond that makes them draw to each other.
The film works because of the strong performances from the lead stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany and Miranda Richardson. Soundtrack from Michael Brook transcends the film. The film understands the pain but also shows Jeff’s strength to overcome the difficulties and accept his future.