Concussion

 

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Will Smith stars as an eccentric coroner who uncovers a devastating truth that could 

undermine America’s National Football League.


If you think FIFA is corrupt, you should try this true-life drama. Will Smith plays Bennet Omalu, an eccentric Nigerian pathologist whose life changes forever when he cuts open the brain of former football legend Mike Webster. At first Bennet is confused by what he finds. However, he soon discovers that Webster was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disorder resulting from concussion sustained during his career as an offensive lineman. But with his department’s finances stretched beyond breaking point and with the National Football League making his life as awkward as possible, Bennet funds his own continuing investigation. It may be costing him his life savings, but he has to do the right thing. Obviously, it could also cost the NFL dearly. So, is football worth it? As the retired sports doctor Julian Bailes (Alec Baldwin) sees it, American football is a necessary evil. “You know, it is a mindless, violent game – and then it’s Shakespeare.”

 

Concussion

 Probing the mind set: Alec Baldwin and Will Smith

 

Peter Landesman's script for Concussion is an elegant thing, matched by his handsome, voluptuous direction, while Will Smith gives the performance of his career, complete with Nigerian accent. It may all be a little too polished for some tastes, but the film has a compelling story to tell and unfolds like a thriller, spotted with creditable turns from Baldwin, Albert Brooks and, as Bennet’s African conscience, Gugu Mbatha-Raw. It’s also an extraordinary story that needed to be told.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Albert Brooks, Arliss Howard, Luke Wilson, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David Morse, Eddie Marsan, Richard T. Jones, Hill Harper, Stephen Moyer, Gary Grubbs, Paul Reiser.

 

Dir and Screenplay Peter Landesman, Pro Ridley Scott, Giannina Scott, David Woltroff, Larry Shuman and Elizabeth Cantillon, Ph Salvatore Totino, Pro Des David Crank, Ed William Goldenberg, Music James Newton Howard, Costumes Dayna Pink.

 

LStar Capital/Village Roadshow Pictures/Scott Free Productions/The Shuman Company/Cara Films/The Cantillon Company-Sony.

122 mins. USA/UK/Australia. 2015. Rel: 12 February 2016. Cert. 12A.