Mason Dixon, Rocky Balboas(RB) opponent in the ring, totally exhausted after the fight says – You crazy old man!
To whichRocky Balboa replies Dont worry, you will get there!
Its been a long time since I shouted like crazy in a hall. Its been a long time since I screamed my lungs out. And I clearly remember the last time I clapped inside a cinema hall that was when Mohan Bhargav was able to light the bulb in his native village in Swades.
A nd I did a combination and permutation of all these three things last Sunday when I saw the final installment of the Rocky series, Rocky Balboa ALONG WITH EVERYONE ELSE IN THE HALL!
It comes 16 years after Rocky V, which unfortunately did not do well. Rocky fans were unhappy that he ended his career right where he started it, on the streets. Plus he never got into the ring in Rocky V. Sly Stallone was clearly unhappy with the result and wanted to do another part. Where he could gave one of the silver screens biggest heroes a proper sendoff!
In his own words I felt obligated to try and end the series the way it should have ended. I was very negligent [with 1990's] Rocky V. It just didn’t leave anyone with any sense of hope. It was very reflective of where I was at the time. So, it bothered me. And then around ’96, I thought, Oh, I want to approach Hollywood with the idea. And they said, basically, never. I kept going back and visiting and there was a certain studio head that wanted no part of it. So, at that time MGM was just not interested and I thought, This is never going to happen. Then, as fate would have it, MGM was sold [to Sony], new people in, and that was it. But I have to thank the guy who really got the ball rolling, [Revolution Studio president] Joe Roth.
The story begins 16 years after the last film. Adrian, RBs wife and the inspiration of his life, has died of cancer. His son has moved out of his fathers house but is not able to get out of his shadow. He is known to everybody as Rockys son. Rocky runs a restaurant by his wife’s name where he regales his guests with stories of his boxing days. And whenever he gets time, he goes to all those old places where Adrian used to work, the skating ring, Mickeys gym etc and tries to relive those memories. Of course he has Pauli, his old time friend for company, whose one liners are damn funny.
So mewhere else, the current heavyweight champion, Mason Dixon, is having a hard time. No one is there to challenge him. The ones that do are knocked out in the first round. His image has taken a beating. And moreover, there is a simulated cartoon fight between him and Rocky Balboa on ESPN which says Rocky would have defeated him if they were in the same era. Dixons managers seeing this an opportunity for making a lot of money come up with this idea of a fight between the two. Initially hesitant Rocky agrees. And for the rest I would urge all to see the film.
The high points of the film come right after this. Rocky’s training(yeah the running, the steps and then jumping with both the hands in the air – it’s all there) with the vintage Rocky music playing in the background. His emotional breakdown when Pauli tries to persuade him not to fight. A classic one liner There is a beast.somewhere down.in the basement who wants to come out comes right in the middle of this breakdown.
And the confrontation scene with his son which is the most defining scene of the film. The dialogues in this scene are legendary.
Rocky Balboa is not one of those movies which you see, enjoy and forget. Its one of those movies you watch and think about. Its one of those movies which you show to your children. Its one of those movies which cling on to your consciousness – for ever and ever. Its not about a superhero who flies, or who spins a web or has a batmobile. Its about a boy from the streets. Its about a fighter. Its about the beast within.
Thank You Sly Stallone. I really appreciate that!!!