Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)


Tiffany: I was a slut. There will always be a part of me that is dirty and sloppy, but I like that, just like all the other parts of myself. I can forgive. Can you say the same for yourself, fucker?
Can you forgive? Are you capable of that? 

Five minutes in watching the 'Silver Linings Playbook' and this film had me guessing what it was all about. Given the very unique cast, I've decided to keep an open mind about this 'social drama'-look alike film and give it a go. After all, that is what a true film lover does.

The story tells us about Pat Solatano, a young man who lost everything - his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother and father after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat's parents want is for him to get back on his feet - and to share their 
family's obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he'll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives. (www.imdb.com)

What intrigued me about the story first and foremost was the delicate approach of how the creative team decided to treat and pass on a story about people who suffer from OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) or Bipolar Disorder or even Sex addiction. Very sensitive matters to deal with on screen and to try to make people understand or even sympathize with the characters, unstable at times, emotional journey. Yet, screen writer/director David 
O. Russell managed not only to create a stabilized chemistry between his actors but guide them through this process steadily and with an open mind on what they were trying to get across. 

David O. Russell made sure to give his characters multiple sides to them, both good and bad, without though eliminating any ethical emotional ups and and downs out of the right-wrong equation. This served well in the atonement of the two main protagonists most of all; is Pat really ready to rebuild his life with his ex wife, do we side with him in this obsessive journey of rekindling his marriage, do we criticize Tiffany for her addiction, how do we see her approach towards Pat and do we really condone with their odd, yet profound, 
bond between them. But hear lies the rub; David O. Russell manoeuvres carefully the plot so that we can digest first the problems of each character, absorb them and then sets us free to distinguish our emotions, whether that is pure abhorrence or pure wholesomeness. 

Onto the actors now; quite admittedly I was not too enthused to see Bradley Cooper (Limitless, The Words, The Hangover, He's Just Not That Into You) as he predominately comes from more of a comedic background. With this one I had my reservations. I am glad to say I was happily surprised that not only he manages to make me sympathize such an sardonic character but also develop an emotional bond with his character. He is an odd character to play, but his struggles become sort of his personal confessions to the viewer.He leaves you the space and the time to understand him, hence empathize with his actions as well.

Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games, Winter's Bones, X-Men: First Class) on the other hand comes up abruptly, like a hurricane, and blows your mind. She is the twister in the story but also the cherry on top. She does not want you to like her, well at least not right away. But she intrigues you. She lures you in, to question where is she going, what does she want and how deep her wounds are. She portrays a very dynamic character, full of zest and pain, but does not let any viewer linger from her side. She demands attention, with her bizarre actions and her very secretive sensitive nature. Once again, she is up for an Academy Award nod for Best Actress. Quite deservedly, as she does a superb job in her portrayal of Tiffany.

Needless to mention the astounding performances of Robert DeNiro and Chris Tucker. They both bring vibrant and exuberant performances to the whole story line, as they enhance the main protagonists' with layers to their personal drama but also a more humane aspect of their daily lives. 

Technical aspects of the film are smooth paced, cinematography registers the events in shaky rhythms and more steady tones whenever needed. Music composition offers a beautiful combination to the story line. All in all I believe this film is very sensitive. It touches and delves with very precise matters, trying to make people who are even unaware of how to distinguish people that are going through such issues and make them more sensitive and
understanding towards them. All I know is that, alone the fact that David O.Russell drew from his personal experiences to create this film, makes you choke more than once throughout the film. 

Well worth the time to sit down to watch. Sweet little story with multiple messages. 


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