Over the years Jessica Hynes has built herself up as a comedy legend. With The Fight she makes her directorial debut, crafting a domestic drama that tackles bullying, self-esteem, family-troubles and learning to stand up for yourself against domineering forces. The story centres on a struggling mother who has to work as a support helper at a hospital while also having to contend with her parents’ plights, as well as her daughter facing bullying from a troubled student with her own personal issues.
A passion project and a labour of love, The Fight is more of a metaphorical story than a physical one. Our central protagonist learns over the course of the film that she can stand tall while resisting the urge to fight. We learn that bullies are the bullied themselves and that the personal baggage anyone carries with them (abuse, depression, violence, etc.) can create its own legacy. Almost each character goes through their own personal arc that leads towards some form of catharsis and salvation by the end, and Hynes handles this aspect expertly well.
Jessica Hynes has created a solidly crafted debut feature that handles its subject matters with precision and care, while also giving an emotionally raw performance. She also brings the best out of her co-stars, especially from rising stars Sennia Nannua and Liv Hill. In the end, The Fight promises great things for Hynes, hopefully it won’t be too long until we see what she can bring next.
Dir: Jessica Hynes
Scr: Jessica Hynes
Cast: Jessica Hynes, Shaun Parkes, Anita Dobson, Christopher Fairbank, Sally Phillips, Alice Lowe, Rhona Mitra, Sennia Nannua, Liv Hill, Russell Brand
Prd: Noel Clarke, Jason Maza, Maggie Monteith, David Wade
DOP: Ryan Heddleston
Run time: 91 mins
The Fight is out on DVD & Digital on 9 September 2019