Runtime: 2 hours 2 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $240-250 million
There has been some controversy over the NFL possibly “tampering” with the movie. I don’t know if that took place or not, but either way the film is very condemning. I’ll leave it at that and get onto the review.
Concussion was a well-made, but depressing movie. As you can imagine, the subject matter of the movie was not exactly uplifting. Despite the serious nature and heavy topic, they managed to squeeze in humorous moments to lighten the mood. It was interspersed enough to prevent a jokes at a funeral sort of feel.
Some scenes about the romance subplot seemed unnecessarily long. The relationship between Dr. Omalu and Prema plays a vital role, but not enough for the background to hog that much screentime. They could have spared some of that time for a more detailed closing.
In the end, the film does a good job of summarizing and delivering information about concussion statistics to the masses. For better or worse, entertainment is a good vehicle for making these topics more palatable. It pushes it into the mainstream and drives conversation and discourse.
If you haven’t noticed, most of what I write about is football. There should be no surprise that I am heavily invested in the game—yet, this film has given me pause about the future and direction of football. Is the game worth keeping in its current iteration? It opens up so many philosophical questions and moral quandries. Safety vs. paternalism is a chief issue among these.
Perhaps all the debate is really a false dichotomy between keeping the game and getting rid of it. Football rules have been drastically altered before. Back before the formation of the NCAA, there had been a similar sentiment. Proponents of the game felt that any change would destroy the purity of the sport. Opponents argued that the commonplace injuries and deaths should be replaced with the death of the sport. Strict reforms did change the game significantly, but it survived over a century to get to this point. Maybe it will take a presidential intervention to spur change again. Hopefully, this time it will be free of ulterior motives and secret agendas.