Pawn Sacrifice

During the cold war political positioning between the Soviet Union and the United States was fought on many levels, one such level was intellect, or more specifically the game of chess. At the center of this particular battle, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) and Russian chess master Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber); veritable pawns for their respective countries. However, in the case of Fischer, his strongest opponent may have in fact been his own mind, battling for national pride and his own personal reasons, this is his story. pawnsacrifice Directed by Edward Zwick, this biopic character study piece seems to be a familiar story in light of last year’s The Theory of Everything, and A Beautiful Mind from 2001, the tale of a tortured genius. Sadly, this go round, while surface paranoid behavior and mania is apparent, true clarity as to what made Fischer tick never completely comes into focus. Performances from the ensemble all round are rich, including work from Peter Sarsgaard and Michael Stuhlbarg (Fischer’s handlers of sorts). Score by James Newton Howard hits a generally nice tone although, one or two cues do stand out a little sore, perhaps intentionally? Compelling and telling story, not so much, interesting character study, mostly, worthy of a matinee, okay. Pawn Sacrifice is rated PG-13.