The whole thing plays a bit ‘made for Oscar Night’
Concussion is a 2015 film based on the (mostly) true events surrounding Dr Bennet Omalu, a brilliant, multi-degree holding physician, forensic pathologist and neuropathologist, and his discovering of a degenerative neurological disease in American Football players due to the repeated concussive force sustained during play. His discovery caused massive controversy within the sport, especially with the NFL who flatly refused to entertain the findings and used their considerable might to quash the publication. A beaten and dejected Dr Omalu left the fray to resume his life only to find himself called back when suicides of players shooting themselves in the heart to preserve their brain for research, meant the NFL had to address the situation and findings as the even more considerable might of the American media now had the story and would not let go. Dr Omalu, justly vindicated quickly becomes headline news and a new golden boy.
The film pitched as a ‘David v Goliath’ story really isn’t, whilst there are clear overtones to the myth, Dr Omalu presents his findings in an earnest attempt to better the safety of the players, not to overthrow a corrupt regime, as such the story, while being kept high on pace, characterisation and drama never really hits that ‘little-man-winning-against-the-evil-corporation’ that it is so wanting to be. Indeed the climax is more of a matter-of-fact happening than any executed cunning plan. This has the overall effect of deflating the film, somewhat, even if the actors pour their heart and soul into their respective roles in a ‘made-for-Oscar-Night’ rendition whilst the film score, cinematography and narrative follow suit. Ultimately it plays as a TV special, an absorbing and entertaining TV special, but a TV special none-the-less.
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