“Journeyman” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

1 February, 2018

Director: Paddy Considine
Screenwriter: Paddy Considine
Director of Photography: Laurie Rose
Paddy ConsidineJodie WhittakerPaul Popplewell

Synopsis: A skilled boxer set to retire from fighting suffers a life-changing injury in the ring, leading to a profound alteration in his personal life which pushes him on the road to recovery.

Journeyman Review:

An exemplary character study written with the power to replenish the reputation of the ninety-minute melodrama, “Journeyman” sees the everyday sports movie set out on an unusual path in a “Rocky” tale with the good times already behind it. Posed in a relatable context with a husband, wife, and infant daughter forming the crux of a testing hurdle, the film sees loyalty reshaped yet never dismissed, moving from a standard tale of success to a laborious struggle to reclaim a simple, loving existence.

A film of sentimentalist virtue with a heart that beats for its challenged hero, “Journeyman” is the very definition of passionate filmmaking from writer-director Paddy Considine who saves the lead role for himself in a movie unafraid to address the correlation between sport and mental illness. Never missing a beat in a story where triumph leads to irreversible injury, Considine transforms from a lovable boxing star to a bumbling head trauma survivor, becoming both incompetent and incontinent while his supportive wife struggles to locate the man she married within the shell left behind.

While perhaps not the titular journey that many viewers will expect, “Journeyman” is a sports movie in the sense that its fleeting bout lives on beyond the day of the fight, ultimately never leaving the ring as a single, haunting blow to the head repeats itself in thumping flashbacks. Presenting itself in both the best and worst of times as determination and damage come to coexist in the soul of a wounded man, “Journeyman” relives its trauma with a great weight behind it, reminding us how and why it led to this moment while Paddy Considine channels his best Daniel Day Lewis in scenes of practised cadence. Delivering his screenplay with outstanding emotion, Considine shows an unwavering commitment to authenticity, leaving not a single dry eye in the house as he pushes head-first into a painfully honest tragedy.


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