Maggie’s determination to chase her dream. Maggie’s determination is the start of the catalyst for change within Frankie. After denying Maggie’s request to have him train her multiple times, by seeing Maggie’s determination to be trained, Frankie finally decides to train Maggie. Frankie sees a bit of himself in her, his determination to rebuild a relationship with his daughter, is mirrored by Maggie’s determination to build a relationship with Frankie. Regrettably, it is not long before Frankie’s old wounds start to reopen. Maggie is filled with curiosity, she asks questions like “You got any family?” these questions about Frankie’s past, opens up old wounds. This causes Frankie to become overwhelmed and angry at himself. He knew that by building a new relationship, his wounds were bound to reopen,
revealing his pain for losing Katie. His frustration towards himself for letting Maggie into his life, clouds his thinking giving Maggie away to Micky Mac, a boxing manager. He then storms away never to talk to Maggie again until her first fight. There, Maggie is seen losing while her new manager, Micky Mac, is doing nothing in order to help her. When she asks how she's doing, Micky just says she's doing great, even though she is clearly losing. Frankie and Scrap are up high watching the fight from above, even though Frankie gave Maggie way, he is essentially watching over her, thus showing that he stills cares for her. The shadows in this scene are important as they symbolize a different side of the character not normally seen in broad daylight. By only showing half of Frankie’s face, his more sensitive side comes into view, and it is this side of him that convinces him to go and help Maggie. Frankie runs up to the boxing ring and calls Maggie towards him, away from Micky Mac. The Ref runs over and asks if Maggie is Frankie’s fighter, to which Frankie says “Yes, this is my fighter.” The advice Frankie gives Maggie causes her to win the fight, and the look on Frankie’s face is the look of a proud father. After the fight, while putting band aids on Maggie, Frankie is talking to her about how well she did. The shadows showing only a part of Frankie’s face, represent another opportunity to show the emotional and more sensitive side of Frankie Dunn. During their talk, Maggie asks Frankie why he left her, he says it's because he was protecting her, Maggie then responds with “You gave me away how is that protecting me?” which Frankie responds with “It wasn’t.” Frankie is admitting and accepting his past mistakes and responds with “Never” when Maggie asks if he’ll ever leave her again. Frankie has learnt that for a relationship to work, one member can not just leave the other when things get rough. Frankie admits that he learnt his lesson that if he does
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- character arc, Million Dollar Baby, Frankie Dunn