Concussion Movie Review

January 18, 2016

The head-to-head collisions millions of Americans watch in fascination during football season may mesmerize some in nostalgia for American culture, but Concussion brings even the most ardent football fans to the harsh realization: Is this sport too dangerous to continue playing?

Concussion follows Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist and medical professional who initially discovered Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), throughout his struggle to make the disease and its consequences known to the NFL. Despite repeated rejections and threats from NFL employees and fans, Omalu relentlessly tries to help them understand the disease and why it leads ex-players to their ultimate death.

On textbooks, the authors’ names are typed on the glossy front cover and spine, yet most students are guilty of not knowing them. On websites, news articles and research papers, the author’s name either sits below the title or at the end of the article, patiently awaiting recognition. For readers, it is just a name.

Dr. Bennet Omalu published his discovery and research of CTE in hopes of raising awareness about the life-changing disease. His name was printed in the medical journal he composed with fellow professionals as one of the main authors. To the average reader, Dr. Omalu’s name would probably not hold much significance. Concussion brings a face to the man who has permanently revolutionized the game of football for the sole purpose of protecting people.

Dwelling deep into the personal effects of CTE, the film takes viewers into the psyche of a retired football player with CTE – Mike Webster. Newspapers and radio channels give the facts, whereas Concussion gives us a real-to-life glimpse of the hellish life of middle-aged men with CTE and how it affects their families. Stunningly real and disturbing, viewers are forced to take a step away from the facts and sympathize with the victims of the disease football fans have yet to accept.

Unlike the majority of today’s films, Concussion does not feature a dynamic plot with weapon-wielding characters and obstreperous explosions, but rather concentrates on the immensity of a prevalent issue. The world accepted that smoking deteriorates the body. Impoverished masses in third-world countries continue to learn safe ways to prevent the spread of disease. This film provokes viewers to wonder whether or not America will be able to accept its favorite sport as the cause of dozens of deaths.

Note to reader: This film contains some footage of pathology procedures and images that may be disturbing. For weak stomachs, viewer discretion is advised. Concussion is rated PG-13.

Watch the official trailer for further detail.

 

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