The thought of never walking to me is incomprehensible. Wheelchairs are fun to play around in, but to rely on it for the rest of your life is something no one should have to endure. I still feel bad for paraplegics, but after seeing Murderball, there is hope for the unfortunate.
Murderball documents the American Para-Olympic Rugby team who are confined to wheelchairs. The wheelchairs themselves are specially designed to take enormous punishment. They resemble tanks outfitted for combat more than your everyday run of the mill wheelchair. An individualís disability is rated using a point system from .5 - 3.5 depending upon the persons mobility and range of motion. A total of 8 points are allowed on the court at one time per team. Other than that, there seem to be few rules in this balls-to-the-wall sport.
As we follow this American team we are introduced to each individual and their plight. The film moves away from the sport to conceptualize the sport of living in a wheelchair; how they eat, dress, and have sexual intercourse. We follow Keith, a young man who has just recently lost his ability to walk due to a motocross accident. Here we see someone who must now adjust to this lifestyle, like it or not. The question for him of course is what now? We then go on to watch team U.S.A reach the Para-Olympics in a dramatic climax that couldnít have been written by todayís writers.
Iíve never watched a film that could be so exciting and yet so depressing all at the same time. In one moment we are on the sidelines riveted by one of the most vicious sports there is, and then suddenly weíre taken to the dark side of being a paraplegic. We are taken inside their community, a community the rest of society pities, until they see this film. This film gives hope and triumph, and most of all meaning to these people who can no longer live normal lives.
At the same time I couldnít help but be amused by what was going on; here the handicap are exuding a confidence that many walking people donít have. These guys are hardcore and arenít afraid to admit it. They horse around; they get drunk and enjoy their inebriation beyond belief. They have sex, they pick up women, and they party hard.
What was so intriguing was how this film could almost make you feel jealous of these guys, who have nothing to lose; they have been through the worst. They have been through intensive therapy; suffering emotional turmoil because of their physical situation. It could make you feel inferior to these guys