IN FULL BLOOM Review by Linda
In Full Bloom pays homage to film noir cinema with a dash of extra parallel metaphors that reel you in perfectly for this WW2 boxing tale. First time directors Adam Villasenor and Reza Ghassemi won best film award at the Oldenburg Film Festival where it debuted last year.
American Boxer Clint Sullivan (Tyler Wood) and defending Japanese champion Masahiro (Yusuke Ogasawara) are scheduled to fight in Japan for the light heavyweight title. The tension hangs like live wires in the air during the press conference as images of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima playout in each boxers’ head. There’s an implication that this is Tyler’s last chance at glory, as a reporter alludes to his lost bouts, but his heartfelt goal is to make his unborn son proud. Masahiro has gone on a quest in the forest during a brutal winter to find legendary fighter Tetsuro (Hiroyuki Watanabe) to train him. Tetsuro is a combination of Freud and Yoda who is the only comic respite in this emotionally terse drama.
Unbeknownst to both pugilists is that Tyler’s manager Silas (S. Scott McCracken) had already made a deal with the Yakuza to throw the fight. When the Yakuza appear in the locker room to confirm that Clint knows what is expected of him, the real fight begins.
Villasenor and Ghassemi have delivered a boxing story that will leave you in the squared circle for a long time.