Movie – Raging Bull [REVIEW] – Emotionally Self-destructive Boxer

IMDB Rating: 8,2/10
Genre: Biography, Drama, Sport
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Jake LaMotta
Stars: Robert De NiroCathy MoriartyJoe Pesci


Boxing is one of the sports that I didn’t know how it operates. I often play boxing only on video games and it’s very impressive. Maybe, it’s just my dad who really likes this sport while I more prefer WWE and UFC. But, Raging Bull just opened my eyes about boxing. Though it’s totally not presenting full or instinctive boxing things, Raging Bull has looked back from another perspective on Jake La Motta’s life. He is a boxer who has competed for 110 fights against competitors in the middleweight class. In addition, his career fist with Sugar Ray Robinson as a rival makes Jake La Motta always compete together. However, this is not about boxing or anything but it’s about how Jake La Motta’s life is shattered along with his career because of his characteristics.

“Raging Bull,” tells about Jake La Motta (Robert De Niro) stepping into a boxing ring along with his dangerous opponents. But when he tries to control his family with his friends at the same time, he becomes the one who always blows up the bomb every time and always gives up on controls. Although Jake wants his family to live in peace and prosperity, sometimes he always thinks which one he must choose. The nature that makes him embarrassed, jealous, and paranoid. Jake La Motta is a champ when it comes to boxing but in real life, he is just a wind that is not considered.

Robert De Niro in Raging Bull (1980)

Raging Bull made me understand how the life of a champion, feeling like gloom, depression, darkness, and no happiness. Just as the character described by Jake La Motta. His character is very easy to anger, jealous, out of rage, and have a big desire. In the boxing ring, he was called as “Bronx Bull” because his frightened tantrums were even hated by everyone. Speaking of Jake La Motta, the man who plays this character’s, Robert De Niro. He’s acting was very excellently and I’m always speechless with his acting that always looks stunning. In addition, Joe Pesci also competes acting with Robert De Niro and both of these actors are very striking what they will give. Joe Pesci portrays his brother’s character from Jake La Motta’s Joey as well as being a manager for Jake. He acts as a tranquilizer, advisor, and solves his problems within his family. So, these two people have properties that mutually sidestep outside but love each other inside. Raging Bull entirely uses a black and white background even though it’s an 80s movie. However, Martin Scorsese wants to show a gloomy atmosphere from the life of Jake La Motta along with his family. Some use colorful scenes in order to portray a life before dark atmosphere for Jake La Motta. This scene you can see when showing a footage from her marriage to Vickie La Motta played by Cathy Moriarty.

Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in Raging Bull (1980)

When the opening credit of this movie started, I immediately thought that this would not happy ending and certainly there would be no sympathy in this film. The opening credit describes Jake La Motta standing on the ring as if preparing to fight with the slow motion effect as well as the music of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana: Intermezzo.” One of the things I love about this film is Martin Scorsese who more often uses the silence atmosphere as an important scene and continued by the loud effect. One of the most powerful scenes when using this technique is the final match between Jake La Motta and Sugar Ray Robinson, that played by Johnny Barnes. No spoiler here, this scene is one of the scenes that I like best in this movie. There is nothing wrong if we talk again about the cinematography of Martin Scorsese that well-built. Michael Chapman who also became a cinematographer with Martin Scorsese in Taxi Driver once again present the dark atmosphere of the main character. More specifically, I liked the cinematography of the boxing scene. He relies more often on close-ups, zoom out and accompanied by slow-mo in some of the scenes. Although Raging Bull is one of the most ambitious films for Martin Scorsese and even refused to make it, it’s one of the cornerstones to win an Oscar award in the Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Film Editing category. In fact, Robert De Niro, who had great intentions to make a film about the sport when Martin Scorsese overdosed on cocaines, Robert De Niro insisted on making this film. So, many people assume that even Martin Scorsese himself, Robert De Niro managed to save his life.


Overall, Raging Bull is one of the sports movies and is one of the most ambitious films for Martin Scorsese. Robert De Niro can be considered a friend who has struggled because often work together with the filming until Leonardo DiCaprio. Joe Pesci also collided along with Robert De Niro. One of the most ambitious films about a person who has a dark past until his life, his family, his best friend, even his career vanished. But Jake La Motta never stopped there. If I compare this movie with Rocky, there is a big difference because Rocky is a boxing film from zero to hero. Although I love it both of them, for Raging Bull, this is why I love Martin Scorsese movies. Raging Bull is a movie that full of intense with the help of cinematography from Michael Chapman. It’s a highly recommended to watch this movie in terms of story, visual, and acting of all actors. Don’t forget that Martin Scorsese always appears as a cameo in every of his film and in this film is also very difficult to notice.

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4 thoughts on “Movie – Raging Bull [REVIEW] – Emotionally Self-destructive Boxer

  1. I’ve been watching a lot of classic films lately, and this is indeed one of the ones I ended up seeing. I liked it; there aren’t many biopics that are this brutally honest. It was a refreshing change of pace.

    Liked by 1 person

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