Pawn Sacrifice

I like this movie about chess champion Bobby Fischer, it manages to make a chess game appear dramatic and suspenseful.  At the onset I thought that the big name actors Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber would distract from their characters.  And perhaps they did a little; however I could still see the Russian Boris Spassky (Leiv) and Bobby Fischer (Tobey) in these men.  At just under two hours, it did not bore me.  Some of Fischer's sisters' 70s attire seemed a bit exaggerated.  She looked like someone putridly dressed as the 70s-girl for a costume party.  Overall, though, I'd recommend it.  I liked Fischer's priest and lawyer support team.  Peter Sarsgard did a good job as the priest, William Lombardy.

I would like to know a lot more about Bobby Fischer's ideas about politics and Judiasm, etc, from his own mouth.  Not so sure about the way the movie wrote off all of his political/conspiratorial ideas as 'a descent into mental illness'.  (I know that Fischer has denied the Holocaust, and for that I say, kudos to you, Mr. Fischer.  Not often that a Jew can make such a dispassionate assessment of this event.)  Couldn't the movie, in the very least, suggest that perhaps his brilliance has shaped his chess game as well as his political ideas?  Just because someone's ideas seem radical does not mean they are wrong.  At the very end the movie we see a clip of the real Bobby Fisher saying something like "At its most basic level chess is a search for truth.  And I guess that is what I'm searching for."

This, I guess, is Director Edward Zwick halfhearted effort to give a nuanced assessment of Fischer; that he's a well intentioned but misguided soul.  Since he also states unequivocally that after beating Spassky in the World Chess Championship of '72 that Fischer descended further and further into mental illness--this search for truth, Zwick seems to say, didn't result in discovering the truth.  And I wonder, given Zwick is a Jew, if he's revealing his his view that anyone--including someone so brilliant as Bobby Fischer--who denies the Holocaust couldn't be anything other than mentally ill.

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