Have you seen the movie Stronger? It came out last year as a way to memorialize the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. It has a special connection to me because I am an amputee and a marathoner! It also has a special meaning to Knit-Rite because they used one of our products in the movie.
For a dose of something different, I thought I’d do a review on this awesome movie. So here it goes…
Photo Courtesy of mandfilms.com
What is it about? STRONGER is a fact-based drama that takes on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. On April 15, 2013, Jeff Bauman was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, holding a handmade sign in support of his runner-girlfriend Erin. When she was still about a mile away, the two bombs went off, killing three people and injuring hundreds, including Bauman who lost both of his legs that day. When he regained consciousness in the hospital, he was able to provide the FBI a detailed physical description of one of the bombers leading to apprehension. Immediately, Bauman was hailed as a hero – both locally and nationally. The film does a nice job of telling Bauman’s story and how his life unfolded over the next few months. As he struggles with his new life challenges, including PTSD and adjusting to life as an amputee, he strives to do better. But, he simply doesn’t understand why he is viewed as a hero, and doesn’t particularly embrace what comes with that label, at least early on. (Welcome to my world in more ways than one – see last week’s blog. 😉 ) I won’t reveal the ending in case you haven’t seen it yet. But it is definitely worth the watch.
What do I think about the movie? Of course, at its core, this is an incredible story about how a normal guy had his life altered in a moment, as well as how he reluctantly became a hero after a tragic event.
Photo Courtesy of time.com
This movie has educated people about the bombing, losing limbs and the long physical and mental recovery. I appreciated how the film focused on the everyday struggles of adjusting to life as an amputee — waking up, going to put your feet on the floor and falling flat on your face (phantom feeling), navigating large crowds, getting in and out of a car, and attempting stairs — all of the things you take for granted before an injury like this.
Why is it special to Knit-Rite? During production, the movie reached out to Knit-Rite and asked us to send them one of our products for the film. You might remember the scene after the surgery where his legs are wrapped in two white garments. These are our famous Compressogrip Shrinkers.
Compressogrip Shrinkers are mainly used post-surgery to reduce the swelling of the limb, and to prepare and shape it for prostheses fitting in the near future. It was so awesome to see our product being used on the big screen. Big shout out to the movie producers for being so honest and accurate.
Things I wasn’t sure of? Jake Gyllenhaal is an excellent actor. However, I researched and learned that amputee actors were not given an opportunity to try out for the role. I do wish that actors with disabilities were at least given the opportunity, even if it ultimately went to Gyllenhaal.
Photo Courtesy of time.com
Although, he portrayed Bauman very well, who better would know the true emotions of what Bauman experienced than someone who had a similar limb loss story.
Finally, the language factor. Despite the movie being a true story, and the point of the movie is to show the tragic truth, I do wish the language was a little more PG! The movie has way too many F-bombs, and I wouldn’t want to show it to children. And sadly this is a lost opportunity to educate them. Even though we know that kids all know the bad words, the sheer amount of F-bombs was over the top. I do understand that this is the way the characters actually speak, but appealing to a younger audience would only benefit the lesson we can all learn from this situation. This story needs to be shared with all but because of the language, it is limited.
Overall, it’s an excellent story about tragedy and recovery. This movie is an eye-opening learning opportunity about life after amputation! Be sure to put it on your viewing list, and let me know what you think of it!
Extra credit if you can spot Knit-Rite’s shrinker! 😉