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The Fight

average rating is 4 out of 5


Rob Jones


Posted on:

Mar 3, 2023

Film Reviews
The Fight
Directed by:
Thomas Elliott Griffiths
Written by:
Thomas Elliott Griffiths
Luca Donnelly, Danny Roberts, Jake Hagan

Most people who’ve grown up in a working-class town will be able to relate to the setting of The Fight straight away. We’re dropped into a conversation between two friends, one who’s about to defend his honour and one who’s there for moral support. There’s already some posturing and bravado, but below all of that, there’s enough honesty in their interaction that the discomfort of the situation becomes almost tangible. A nervous pre-arranged confrontation on the edge of a skatepark is something that, as you get older, you start to realise is a more universal experience than it has any right to be. It quickly becomes clear that this confrontation is the culmination of a longstanding rivalry between a bully of sorts and a victim who has finally found the strength in early adulthood to face this problem head-on.


What ensues is a tender depiction of the trials of masculinity, but more so a tale of friendships that might have been were it not for the generational traumas that toxic masculinity comes from. There are hints of magical realism as we’re presented with almost an idealistic version of events. It’s fair to call it unrealistic even, but that’s largely the point. The titular fight becomes a concept rather than a literal description of events, an opportunity for reconciliation and introspection rather than any kind of physical dispute resolution. We learn more about the characters and their backgrounds through the dialogue that they share with each other, something that’s presented so simply but carries such weight. These are characters who wouldn’t naturally share their emotions with one another, and that’s why the confrontation that The Fight starts with was arranged in the first place. Just by voicing what they’re going through and having some empathy for one another, all of their perspectives change and there’s no need to fight anymore.


The topic of toxic masculinity and the uncomfortable nature of men talking to one another about anything meaningful isn’t new. The framing of The Fight really does a terrific job of forcing some reflection on it, however. By dropping us into a situation that a lot of us might have first-hand experience with, but then spinning that into something that we’re far more unlikely to have experienced despite its simplicity, it’s hard not to wonder what might have been if we were equipped with the same emotional intelligence that these characters are. It may be accused of too much expediency in its dialogue, and perhaps some of the conversations could’ve felt more natural were they allowed some more breathing space, but there’s no denying that it achieves the noble purpose that it set out to.


The Fight certainly brings a message with it of a better future through communication, but it delivers it with subtlety and distinction. It uses real-life experiences and subverts expectations in order to tell a story that could have easily become ponderous if we weren’t given so much trust to understand the nuances that it’s bursting with. It’s not free of faults, but the faults it does have are minor in comparison to its strengths. This is a short film that should be seen, but more importantly, thought about, by anyone who struggles with the vulnerability of just talking.

About the Film Critic
Rob Jones
Rob Jones
Short Film
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