HomedisabilitiesThe Mighty – Movie Review

Late last night, I decided to peruse Netflix to see if there were any promising documentaries or movies about learning disabilities. There were a couple of documentaries on dyslexia pending, which I’d requested, but I noticed a movie I hadn’t heard of before. It’s called “The Mighty”, and the two main characters were both disabled in different ways.

To be honest, Max is the one who caught my attention, because he had some sort of learning disability which involved reading. The character started out as very downtrodden and depressed, due to bullying, constant failure and a very rough past. He saw himself as stupid, because he was in the 8th grade and could not read.

Kevin, the boy who moved in next door to Max, had a very noticeable physical disability, which was actually a form of dwarfism called Morquio Syndrome. This character was extremely smart and highly imaginative.

They were both from unique family situations, too. Kevin’s dad left them as soon as he found out about his son’s birth defect, while Max lived with his grandparents. Max’s mother was murdered in front of him by his father, who was sent to prison because of it.

The movie follows the boys as they forge a close friendship and grow as people. Kevin teaches Max how to read and prompts him to find the inner strength he had all along, while Max offers Kevin a way to see and experience things that he wouldn’t have been able to because of his physical disabilities.

Besides being a huge tear jerker, I thought the movie did a pretty good job of illustrating how similar the suffering is of those with visible disabilities and invisible disabilities. It also highlights the vital role that family and friends play in a child’s life.

Although there were some unrealistic parts, I thought it was a good movie. It has some extremely sad parts, especially near the end, but it also teaches some wonderful lessons about the experience of being ‘abnormal’.

The movie was based off the book, Freak the Mighty, by Rodman Philbrick, which I’ve added to my list at the library. There’s also a sequel, Max the Mighty, which I think I’ll request at the same time.


The Mighty – Movie Review — 2 Comments

  1. The movie sounds really interesting at the same time upon reading your review I would agree that locating any "Disability, or even learning Disability are hard to find. The invisable & physical aspects are really hard to locate. Some movies claim in the movie is about certain Disabilities. Keep in mind that there are a LOT of Disabilities. I know myself on what I have & struggled. I think the only thing I have a problem is emotional moments or to handle them. Over the years I have "Turned off" both emotional & heart refusing to be used, bullied worse lied.
    For me to watch or listen to any tear jerker moments or movies… I just cannot relate or understand that at all. I can inside myself but to show it emotionally I cannot I been emotionally damaged half my life, and seen death more than I would have seen those who say giving birth to a baby or "happy" moments. For my half its been… Purgatory.
    I cannot think much more here, as I have ran out of thoughts & reasons; after inspecting my Starbucks thermos is officially out of coffee:P I'll end my comment here.

  2. I'm truly sorry you've had such a rough time, my friend.

    Personally, I try avoiding tear jerkers, but the emotions they bring up in many folks helps to expand the overall understanding of the issue at hand. I have a very hard time watching "A Beautiful Mind", because I identify so strongly with the wife, thanks to hubby's past issues with bipolar disorder.

    And yes, it's very hard to find good movies about disabilities, especially learning or invisible disabilities. Many of the ones that include learning disabled characters do a terrible job of representing them, and those that represent them well rarely seem to see the popularity other movies do. I tend to search them out and write about them so I can point them out to other interested parties who may not have the time or energy to search them out for themselves.

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