Sports movies are full of inspirational stories, be they real or fictitious, and depict the most dedicated of humans who are willing to sacrifice a lot to be the best in their sport. We have had so many movies based on racing, football, boxing, hockey, basketball etc etc. But can you think of movies revolving around a game of chess? A slow, languid game, played more in the mind than in the open, is how general public might perceive the game. But trust me, it can be as absorbing as any other sport, if you get the hang of it. Pawn Sacrifice has made the bold attempt of bringing the game of chess to the big screen, and along with it the legend of the game – Bobby Fischer. In a Hollywood-like fashion, the movie has a USA v/s USSR theme attached to it, but as the trailer shows, it seems to have a lot more to offer too.
Who’s Bobby Fischer: This ain’t a name known only to the chess lovers., for the American Bobby Fischer’s name has transcended many boundaries. A World Chess Champion, Bobby Fischer was a child prodigy and is considered as one of the greatest players to have ever played this sport. Becoming a Grandmaster at the age of 15, the youngest one to do so upto that time, is a testament to his genius!
What’s the movie about: Pawn Sacrifice is a biopic on Bobby Fischer, but focuses mainly on the classic 1972 battle between Fischer and the USSR great chess player Boris Spassky. Just like any other sporting event of that period, the matchup between Fischer and Spassky, held in Iceland, held global attention owing to the growing tensions between USA and USSR – the period of the ‘Cold War’. The chess match of 1972 was more than just a game of chess! The movie also seems to capture though the instability of Fischer under the stress of international attention and the weight of his own genius.
Who’s in the cast: Tobey Maguire is playing the role of Bobby Fischer. Ever since his departure from Spider-Man series, we have seen quite little of Maguire, his only notable appearance being in The Great Gatsby. The role of Fischer would be a challenging one to pull off, and going by the trailer, it seems Maguire is at his very best. Maguire’s face-off is with Liev Schreiber who plays Boris Spassky in the movie. It is always a joy seeing Schreiber on-screen, and this should be no different.
Who’s directing the movie: Pawn Sacrifice looks to be in the capable hands of Edward Zwick. If you can forget about Love & Other Drugs for a moment, then Zwick’s past movies include the likes of Defiance, Blood Diamond and The Last Samurai. Zwick has generally handled tough topics, turning them into intense movies, which makes me all the more interested in his treatment of Pawn Sacrifice.
Where to watch the trailer: Right here! The movie is being distributed by the little known studio, Bleecker Street, but I hope they create enough awareness about this movie. It has a lot of potential, the first trailer also looks promising, and so I would love to see this movie work at the box-office too.
Pawn Sacrifice is scheduled to release in the USA on September 18, 2015.