The 2017 British drama film “Jawbone” is an amazing flick for many reasons, including the story and performance by Johnny (Jimmy) Harris who wrote the script out of his own personal experience as a homeless ex-boxer, struggling to cope with life on the streets.
In the film, we see Johnny as an alcoholic and once a great boxer reaching out to his only family left – the boxing club from where he started his career – to try and regain his lost glory. Known as Jimmy McCabe, he seeks help from his former coach William (Ray Winstone) and his boxing days side-kick Eddie (Michael Smiley).
Jimmy (Johnny) doesn’t have a license to participate in any professional bouts, so he tries to get into illegal fights that could at least pay for his food and shelter. But he must completely quit alcohol and practice to the core to even stand up to his young and strong opponent.
“Jawbone” is a semi-autobiographical tale in which Johnny acted brilliantly for things that he had already experienced in his life as Jimmy McCabe. The film is emotional as we see the struggle of the once-popular boxer.
There are a few scenes where the acting is indeed powerful. One of those scenes is the time when he was evicted from his home where his mother died a year ago. As he confronts the officers, we see the pain of a man who is trying hard to stay close to his memories when there is no one else around.
As he goes back to the old boxing club and hesitantly asks his friends for help, we sense how lonely one can become when we take wrong decisions that could leave us without a definite goal in our lives. He struggles yet tries not to go back to alcohol but to friends where he can find a sense of belonging as well as some sense of purpose to move in the right direction.
Even though the story of “Jawbone” is predictive and probably we have already seen similar movies, it is a bit different as the man himself is reliving his life, as the story is penned and acted by the actor himself. There are strong emotions as we watch Johnny deliver a very refined performance. He is very well supported by Ray Winstone and Michael Smiley.
Nevertheless, it’s a cruel world, and boxing is a very brutal sport. At the same time, life is no different. We all must face adversity but with hope and determination, we can certainly overcome the trouble and emerge victorious. That’s the message “Jawbone” delivers.
Written by Johnny Harris
Starring: Johnny Harris, Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Michael Smiley, Luke J.I. Smith, Anna Wilson-Hall
Directed by Thomas Q. Napper
Release Date/Year: 12 May 2017
Country: United Kingdom
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