In a gripping true story set during the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire. Also starring Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard, Pawn Sacrifice chronicles Fischer’s terrifying struggles with genius and madness, and the rise and fall of a kid from Brooklyn who captured the imagination of the world.
In Pawn Sacrifice, Tobey Maguire plays Fischer, a beautiful mind whose obsessive understanding of the game of chess raises him to a prominence that the rest of his psyche isn’t quite prepared to deal with. Liev Schreiber plays Spassky, the cool Russian rock-star champion who defended his title in an historic world championship that was covered on the front pages of major newspapers and followed with great interest in corridors of power in Washington and Moscow.
Pawn Sacrifice is an American biographical thriller-drama film It is based on the true story of Bobby Fischer’s challenge against top Soviet chess grandmasters during the Cold War and culminating in the 1972 World Chess Championship match versus Boris Spassky in Reykjavik, Iceland. It was directed by Edward Zwick and written by Steven Knight. The film stars Tobey Maguire as Bobby Fischer, Liev Schreiber as Boris Spassky, Lily Rabe as Joan Fischer, and Peter Sarsgaard as William Lombardy. It was released in the United States on September 16, 2015.
About the Story
The film starts with Bobby Fischer in a paranoid state ripping apart everything in his room, apparantly to check if he is spied upon by the Russians. There is a knock on the door and Bobby is afraid to open the door. He somehow reluctantly opens the door. We are then taken into flashback, where Bobby is 6 years old in the middle of party at his home.
He stares out the window and it appears to him that someone is spying on him. He informs his mother about this. His mother tells him that people want to know what they are doing and mum’s the word. His mother is a migrant from Moscow and supports communism. She is of the opinion that the revolution is about to begin, which is against the American capitalist principles and hence they are spied upon.
His sister takes him to bed, unable to sleep and to counter his loneliness he finds solace in chess. He immerses himself into chess that his worried mother takes him to a chess club and introduces to Nigro. He hopes that if he is defeated by someone maybe his obsession with chess will wean off. Although Nigro defeats him, he convinces his mother that she should allow him to pursue chess. Nigro starts coaching him and from there onwards his journey in professional chess championship begins.
Without fail every month he goes through Russian chess magazines which enlists moves of the latest games amongst the grand masters (mostly Russian) and evaluates them very minutely. Over a period of time he becomes the youngest grand master ever. His obsession with the game always keeps him at the edge of his sanity and results in frequent outbursts. His mother reluctantly leaves him, since he demands his own space so that he can focus on his game.
He goes to Russia for a championship. There he observes that the Russian grand masters are drawing games without much of effort and realises that this is an elaborate arrangement to isolate Fischer from the championship. He accuses that the format along with the collusion, makes it impossible for a non-Soviet player to win the championship. He gets angry at this and quits the tournament and ends his professional career.
When he returns to US he comes across a government lawyer Paul Marshall, so says that he will help him fix the tournament rules. He offer his services free of cost on the pretext that he is a patriot and would want to give Bobby a fare chance to win the tournament.
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Lily Rabe, Robin Weigert, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg, Sophie Nélisse, Evelyne Brochu
Screenplay by: Steven Knight
Production Design by: Isabelle Guay
Cinematography by: Bradford Young
Film Editing by: Steven Rosenblum
Costume Design by: Renée April
Set Decoration by: Lisa Clar, Paul Hotte
Music by: James Newton Howard
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language, some sexual content and historical smoking.
Studio: Bleecker Street
Release Date: September 18, 2015