Andra 🦋’s review published on Letterboxd:
Fractions of seconds determine the exits of a fight. A fist thrown too soon or too late might make your name disappear into oblivion, a career ended before it even started. But then again, a fist thrown too soon or too late might make you rich and a career in such a beastly sport would be superfluous. Just this once, you might throw the fight, just to put some money aside. Once again, that money was never enough to begin with. Money, doesn't matter how large the sum, it's never enough, it'll never be enough.
Robert Rossen's Body and Soul disguises itself as a sports movie, and it does so with an incredibly dynamic camerawork and framing that will influence movies decades past its release (Raging Bull, just to mention one), but it really is a story about the corrupting power of money in a capitalistic society. Rossen's sophomore feature is regarded as the first film gris, a subgenre of the film noir, known for its anti-capitalistic narratives and cynical worldview, and, in many ways, anticipates the themes and narrative structure of what may be Rossen's most important movie, The Hustler, despite the two movie having many similarities they don't feel repetitive, even when watched both in a short span of time, and instead manage to convey different emotions and atmospheres, and, although I preferred The Hustler's desperately dramatic ending to Body and Soul's hopefulness, they both make for great viewing experiences that transcend the years they were made in to say something about the society we still live in.