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Manny Pacquiao film makes debut: Thought-provoking, inspirational

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"Manny," a movie documentary on boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, made a limited debut in select theaters on March 12. The film is narrated by actor Liam Neeson.

"Manny" Movie Review

The documentary summarizes Pacquiao's storied life, and traces the Filipino boxer's roots as an impoverished boy in General Santos City, to his courageous journey as a 13-year-old runaway fighting in the gritty streets of Manila.

The eight-division champion, now 35-years-old, recounts his experiences, along with appearances from family, journalists, friends, trainers, and business associates.

There's a palpable build-up to epic matches early in Pacquiao's career, such as when he fought Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001, where Pacquiao was more than a 41-1 underdog and had less than two weeks to prepare for the IBF super bantamweight title fight.

Personal Story

The film does not offer much in new information to Pacquiao's legion of die-hard fans. This movie is not a boxing special. "Manny" reveals the personal struggles, flaws, national movement, and gargantuan expectations which surround a Filipino sports hero and rising politician.

At times, the movie is meandering, and conveys inappropriate score and mixed tones. At other times, it's inspirational and moving because of the magneticism and nobility of its once-in-a-lifetime protagonist.

Pacquiao's ring exploits are well-known.

This documentary focuses on the man behind-the-scenes -- and less on the outsized cult of personality that our commercialized world might expect from a main rival (Floyd Mayweather, Jr.).

A great aspect of "Manny" is the film's authenticity, made pure by its honest, and sometimes flawed but always lovable, subject. Here's the movie's Facebook page and YouTube trailer.

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