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Silver Linings Playbook: Review

November 27, 2012

silver-linings-playbook-trailer

I’d heard this film had a slow start and that I’d have to stay with it. The opening scene hears the protagonist (Pat Solitano, played by Bradley Cooper) talking to a psychiatrist.  A film about the inner workings of a human being – exactly my type of film! I was hooked straight away. Throughout the film it’s revealed that Pat’s been confined to a psychiatric hospital for attacking the man who had an affair with his wife.

It sounds pretty deep, depressing and altogether a bit intense. However, as soon as Pat’s bolshy Italian-American mother (think a toned-down version of Marie in ‘Everyone Loves Raymond‘) comes to take him away from the hospital, the laughs ensue.

Every actor and actress in this film pulls their weight, from those who play smaller parts, such as Chris Tucker who, similarly to Cooper,  gives a very believable and funny depiction of someone suffering with a mental illness, to Robert De Niro who conveys a concerned loving father, with subtle hints of flaws that are also found in his son.

As in the ‘Hunger Games‘, Jennifer Lawrence plays a ferocious character: independent, powerful and beautiful. However, I found Lawrence’s performance of Tiffany stronger than the story itself. It’s uncovered that Tiffany also suffers from a mental illness; not a mental illness acquired throughout her lifetime which she will always struggle with, but instead as a consequence of her husband’s death. As with Pat’s mental illness, there are constant reasons given to the audience on why the characters need the therapy or the drugs they’re prescribed.

Luckily, this makes the ending much easier to tie up. The friendship between Pat and Tiffany grows, until ultimately, Pat stops fixating on rebuilding his marriage and instead realises that Tiffany is very much in love with him. The ending appears to imply that forging a relationship has helped resolve their issues. It’s a believable ending as we know the reason they’re deemed ‘crazy’ is as a consequence of another action, therefore it’s easier for the film to tell us there’s a fix.

The star of the show for me is Cooper, a great performance that delivers funny moments a-plenty, from bursting into his parents’ room in the middle of the night when he finds the ending to a book isn’t to his liking, to his constant blurting out of exactly what’s on his mind. Definitely a film to see in terms of comedy and great acting, but the overly happy ending seems slightly crow-barred into what is otherwise a film of enticing and explosive scenes (although I’d question anyone who wouldn’t want Pat to turn away his estranged wife and chase after Tiffany in the final scenes).

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2012 2:18 pm

    Nice review! I was considering watching this film, and after reading your review I definitely am. Sounds really good. Well expressed and written. Thanks for this.

    • December 1, 2012 2:29 pm

      Thanks! Great to hear! Yes, definitely recommend it, probably one of the only people in the world not to be overly enamoured by ‘The Hangover’ so hadn’t really seen much of Bradley Cooper – but I’m a fan now!

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