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Critical Beat: Win Win

Sometimes you have to do the wrong thing in order for someone to teach you what the right thing is.



Win Win is the story of Mike Flaherty (Paul GiamattI), a man who just can’t seem to win in his life.  His business is struggling.  The high school wrestling team he coaches can’t pull off a victory to save their lives.  Even his wife doesn’t trust him enough to do something as simple as cut down a dead tree in their yard.  Yet he keeps on.

When the opportunity arises to become the legal guardian for one of his clients (a responsibility that comes with a $1500 a month stipend), he takes it.  He has nothing left to lose and everything to gain.  But he gets more than he bargains for when his client’s grandson, Kyle, unexpectedly shows up and needs a place to stay.  Mike takes him in and learns he is an extremely good wrestler.  Mike sees another opportunity to win, and brings Kyle onto his wrestling team.  In doing so, Kyle helps him in ways he never saw coming.

I originally rented this movie because I wrestled for 12 years growing up, and you never see a good movie about wrestling.  This is still the case, but that’s not because this movie isn’t good.  It just simply isn’t about wrestling.  It’s about responsibility and accepting those responsibilities.  Mike originally judges Kyle’s mom for the mistakes she’s made and the reasons behind her decisions.  And yet, he makes many of the same choices.  The difference is how each chooses to move on from there.  Do they take responsibility for those choices, or find a way out of them?

By taking in Kyle, Mike learns more about himself than anything else.  He learns how to be a better coach and a better lawyer.  By accepting the responsibility of his actions, he learns how to be a better man.  And it is that theme of responsibility that resonates through the story turning it into a very solid one.  It’s amazing how it’s those we try to help that ultimately end up helping us.

Though this wasn’t the wrestling tale I was expecting, I am glad I took the time to watch this.  The film is not made to be anything more than it is.  It is simply honest.  And in the end, shouldn’t we all be a little more like that?



Categories: Movies Tags: ,
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  1. March 6, 2012 at 4:48 am

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