Concussion, based on a true story, is a film depicting the battle between Dr. Bennet Omalu and the National Football League (NFL) regarding his discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a pro player. The film was written and directed by Peter Landesman, based on the 2009 GQ article Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas. Will Smith, who demonstrates the raw emotion and determination to expose the truth, plays Dr. Omalu. Concussion also stars Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Albert Brooks. Ridley Scott produced the film. He has directed the films Gladiator, American Gangster, and The Martian.
The first case of CTE, portrayed in the film, was discovered in an autopsy of former Pittsburgh Steelers player Mike Webster in 2002. Webster suffered a premature death at 50 after struggling with dementia, mood disorders, depression, drug abuse, and suicide attempts. Dr. Omalu found head trauma in Webster similar to a boxer or an older person with Alzheimer's. He stated, "No brain of a 40- or 50-year-old should look like this." Cases of former players Dave Duerson, Andre Waters, and Justin Strzelczyk are also depicted in the film.
Concussion will be released at a very opportune time for producers and the NFL. As of September 2015, Brain trauma, concussions, in particular, affects one in three players in the NFL, according to The New York Times. Every year in the NFL, since 2013, there have been 100 or more concussions. Many players have multiple concussions per year increasing the possibility of CTE. Numerous players have dealt with the symptoms of CTE some even resulting in suicide. Some of the players, with CTE, who have committed suicide are Jovan Belcher, Dave Duerson, Ray Easterling, and Junior Seau. Four former players who are still living and diagnosed or having symptoms of CTE are Tony Dorsett, Brett Favre, Jamal Lewis, and Bernie Kosar.
Concussion will be a groundbreaking film that will catch the attention of the NFL and its players. Viewers will be shocked at the response of the NFL when CTE was brought to their attention. Concussion is a must-see film for any football fan, coach, or player.