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Bruised is an American drama film featuring a captivating blend of sports and emotional turbulence, premiered on Netflix in 2020 and marks the directorial debut of Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry who also stars in the film.

The movie serves as an intense, intimate, and brutally raw examination of redemption, resilience, and the human spirit's fight. It dusts off the sports drama subgenre and injects new life into it with an incisive focus on Women's Mixed Martial Arts (WMMA). Alongside Berry, the film features notable performances from Adan Canto, Sheila Atim, and Stephen McKinley Henderson.

While the movie treads a familiar trend of comeback stories in sports drama, its unique take stems from the strong character portrayal of Jackie Justice, played by Berry.

In Bruised, Berry portrays Jackie Justice, a disgraced Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter who abandoned a promising career following a traumatizing defeat. Away from the ring, she navigates her journey through personal hardships. Struggling to keep her life together, she’s haunted by her past choices and tangles with issues like reparative parenting, self-belief, and self-destructive tendencies.

A major part of Jackie's story revolves around her role as a parent. Her six-year-old son, Manny, played by Danny Boyd Jr., unexpectedly comes back into her life, pushing Jackie to grapple with adding 'mother' to her already chaotic existence. Her quest to balance life as a fighter and a mother introduces a wonderful, emotional wrinkle to the sports theme of the film, and provides a deep character study that overshadows the win-loss narrative common to sports dramas.

Adan Canto plays the role of Desi, Jackie’s hard-nosed, yet caring boyfriend who also serves as her trainer. Desi is a crucial mainstay character as he helps Jackie to grapple both physically and emotionally throughout her make-or-break journey. There's no denying his pivotal role in Jackie’s life while influencing her metamorphosis into a resilient fighter.

Contrarily, Sheila Atim magnificently plays the part of Jackie's estranged sister, Bobbi Buddhakan, who navigates Jackie through the labyrinth of her past and present. Bobbi offers a contrasting character to Jackie, matching her in intensity but differing in emotional stability and approaches to life's challenges.

Bruised is not just a movie about fighting; it’s a movie about a fighter's life outside of the ring, and the enigmas of human existence that hover around her. The movie laces dramatic performances with intensely choreographed fight scenes, making it as much a visual feast as it is an emotional rollercoaster, giving audiences greater insight into the world of Women's MMA. With well-devised training sequences and fights, the physical element of the film is suspended in equilibrium with the emotional plot, making Bruised an eager effort to shed light on the grit, glory, and struggle of women in the tough world of MMA.

The film delves into several themes such as the struggle for identity, self-worth, and redemption, and accentuates each of these themes with the visceral backdrop of MMA. The raw power and physicality of the sport highlight the inner battles Jackie goes through, enabling audiences to physically envision her internal struggles.

Without giving anything away, what distinguishes Bruised is how it manages to weave a sports drama and a powerful emotional narrative into a seamless plot. It's as intimate and powerful a narrative exploration of personal redemption as it is a nail-biting sports drama. Berry's dedication to the character and her remarkable execution of powerhouse action and intense drama is what raises the film to a high pedestal.

In a nutshell, Bruised is a gripping drama that showcases a beautifully flawed, human character in Jackie, with Halle Berry leading the ensemble of talented actors. It’s much more than just an underdog sports story; it's a film about the fight we all have within us - the fight for self-discovery, for redemption, and self-worth. The film takes viewers through the multifaceted personality of its protagonist and her journey to regain her lost glory, not just in the MMA arena, but the arena of life itself.

Bruised is a Drama movie released in 2021. It has a runtime of 129 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.2. It also holds a MetaScore of 52.

How to Watch Bruised

Where can I stream Bruised movie online? Bruised is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Netflix, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Bruised for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Halle Berry
Halle Berry, Shamier Anderson, Adan Canto, Sheila Atim
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