By: Mireille M The Entertainment Corner
January 29, 2010
Takedowns and Falls, by Todd Hickey, is an engaging sports documentary that should be required viewing not only for wrestling fans, but also for anyone competing in athletics.Takedowns and Falls, by Todd Hickey, is an engaging sports documentary that should be required viewing not only for wrestling fans, but also for anyone competing in athletics. The film takes place in Pennsylvania and chronicles the journey of the Central Dauphin wrestling team as they work towards winning the PIAA State Championships in Hershey, PA. The documentary explores themes of positive psychology, family, friendship and team work. There are no ostentatious camera angles and no special effects to detract from the real human story that is being told. The music score is complimentary to the overall flow and subject matter of the documentary. Having no hands-on experience, nor any foreknowledge of wrestling techniques, one might expect to be observing a world, which they are not able to identify with. Thankfully that is not the case, as viewers of various backgrounds can appreciate and learn from the film without prior knowledge about wrestling. The filmmaker interviews the team members, Coach Sweigard and assistant coach Kenny Courts Sr. through out various stages of the documentary. Prominently featured through out Takedowns and Falls are Central Dauphin wrestling team members Walter and Marshall Peppelman. Viewers are given a close look at all the characters lives both on and off the mat. One team member is shown weighing his food in his family’s kitchen. Another treats himself for diabetes. Slightly unpleasant to this reviewer was watching one scene ending with a tired wrestler vomiting into a waste can. Such honest portrayals of humanity is what makes this a compelling documentary to watch. Easily discernible to viewers will certainly be the wrestlers love of the sport and their coaches. After viewing Takedowns and Falls, I was left with a stronger appreciation for teamwork and the relationships forged in a team environment.