‘Concussion’ reveals trauma in football


Tribune News Service

Walt Evans, former Strength and Conditioning coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers, stands in his Aledo, Texas, home with the football helmet and a picture of himself and former center for the team, Mike Webster, on December 19, 2015. Webster is part of the focus in the upcoming movie "Concussion," which opens on Christmas Day, and the NFL's handling of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). (Bob Haynes/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

As a former football player of nine years, I deemed Peter Landesman’s film “Concussion” not a film to be viewed by those planning on having their children play football when they come of age, and or  those currently playing. This film exposes many things on a public level, bringing to light a deadly skeleton hidden in the National Football League’s closet. Regardless of what side you take in any debate or issue, it is difficult, even impossible, to argue against an absolute statement. That is exactly what this film brings to the table, cold and hard facts.

In today’s society it is surprising to see a piece of art that, for all considered, has balanced the scale quite evenly. Many may see this film as an anti-football message, but that could not be any further from the truth.  The danger and overall risk of the beloved sport is revealed, while still letting the beauty and magnificence shine through.

Will Smith plays Dr. Bennet Omalu, and hits the screen with an astounding performance as always. Will’s good guy character has followed him into this film just as his numerous other star roles in the past.  The first time Will opens his mouth may slightly shock the viewer, given his newly acquired and skillfully done Nigerian accent. But in no way does that slight shock factor pull the viewer from the world that was created.

“Concussion” received several nominations for various awards. The score for this film underlies the image, causing a subliminal hurricane of emotions. Peter Landesman has absolutely surpassed any of his previous works, likely giving him a newfound status in the film world as a director.

Sadly this film has left theaters, but luckily it can be found on multiple streaming services along with a DVD release March 15.