Rise (2011) Movie Review

Rise (2011) Movie Review

Rise (2011) Movie Review - Rise Story, Movie Review, Cast And RatingReleased on February 17, 2011, ‘Rise’ is a tribute to figure skaters around the world. Directed by Lookalike Productions (16 times Emmy Award Winners), this part movie part documentary celebrates the dreams of thousands of American figure skaters in addition to honoring the 50 th death anniversary of the 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team which met a tragic end when the aircraft that was carrying it’s members for the World Championships crashed.

‘Rise’ follows the growth of figure skating as a popular sport in the U.S in addition to revealing the origins of the US Figure Skating Memorial Fund which has helped several aspiring figure skaters to achieve their dreams in the field of ice skating till date.

The documentary also features several stories and excerpts from various luminaries from the field of American figure skating, including Peggy Fleming, Brian Boitano, Dorothy Hamill, Michelle Kwan and Scott Hamilton.

In addition to this, viewers will also be treated to a few figure skating performances (uniquely choreographed and performed for the movie), and a riveting red carpet extravaganza marking the world premiere of the movie.

Rise (2011) Movie Review - Rise Story, Movie Review, Cast And Rating

What strikes you about ‘Rise’ is the way the story has been told. Simple but inspirational, educational (in an emotional way); and highly informative; the movie threatens to bring tears to your eyes during the scenes where you get to see the family members of those who perished in the fateful 1961 plane crash reveal the unfulfilled dreams and aspirations of their lost ones.

A particular highlight of the film is it’s well deserved recognition of Maribel Vinson Owen who was also on the ill fated plane when it crashed, killing all its occupants. Regarded as a prominent athelete and coach in her time, Maribel was on board as a coach for her daughters, and ‘Rise’ manages to highlight her dreams and achievements in its narrative.

The sequences which show Michelle Kwan reminiscing about the time when Brian Boitano and Dorothy Hamill managed to win gold medals for the country in the world championships are noteworthy as well.

Rise (2011) Movie Review - Rise Story, Movie Review, Cast And Rating

However, that said and done, ‘Rise’ fails to move you in a big way, owing to a lackluster script that mainly consists of interviews with veteran figure skaters when it should have contained a fair number of live performances.

As a result, with the absence of a full routine skating session (that would have taken about 3-4 minutes), you fail to realise just how competitive the sport was around the time the tragic accident occurred; i.e during the 60’s. The movie would have connected with non skaters (and even young skaters for that matter) and those with little or no interest in the sport; if its director Nancy Stern had added these visual sequences.

‘Rise’ premiered at nationwide special event for only one day. Proceeds from the movie would be forwarded to the U.S. Figure Skating’s Memorial Fund which would in turn use the money to help accomplish its mission and the dreams of thousands of ice skaters.

Rise (2011) Movie Review - Rise Story, Movie Review, Cast And Rating

The movie’s demand and popularity prompted its makers to schedule another screening on March 7, 2011. So if you missed the original screening on February 17, 2011, you can always opt to watch the encore performance.

And we recommend that you do watch the movie! For beneath all those stories about figure skaters and their unified worlds, there is a special message hidden in ‘Rise’ which goes somewhat like this, ‘Some dreams end in order to give birth to others!’ And that is what we get to see in the movie as well!

Director: Nancy Stern

Cast: Brian Boitano, Patricia Clarkson and Dakota Fanning

Rating: 3.5/5

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