January 15, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook

I initially intended to put up my Lincoln review first, but I decided to go ahead and write about Silver Linings Playbook. This has been one of my most awaited films for the simple reason that Jennifer Lawrence was in it. Then the excitement grew stronger when I started reading positive things about the film. It even made it me more curious when I found out people are expecting Silver Linings Playbook to make it to the Oscars (and we all know, it did). There's just something about people talk about it, express their opinions on it that made me think "Wow, this must be really good." At the same time, there's the trepidation that it might not be as good as I'd expect, especially since my expectations had started to build up.

I really don't know how to categorize this movie. It's considered to be a comedy, and while it was, it's also very dramatic. It's not the in-you-face comedy. It's subtle and mild. It's quirky which makes it funny. I loved the ticks they created for the characters. Their characterization itself paved the way for humor, but it was the subtlety in the dialogues that made me appreciate the sly humor the movie had. I think what happened was they tried to take something so serious, so far out of the realm of comedy and managed to transform it to something positive. Yeah, sure it's about depression and people having a hard time coping with it. It's about the poor decisions people make when they go through tough times. But somewhere there, we can all find something ridiculous about it laugh about it. And at the end of the day, after shedding some tears and breaking some glasses, we find something good about it, and we can transform it to something beautiful.

At the same time I liked how in touch these characters were with the story, with their lives, with their tragedies. How do you find peace between a violent man with some serious anger management issues and a woman who turned herself to a slutty girl one her husband died? But the story explored that journey and took me with them. The highs and lows, the good and the bad. Chasing for something you really want then questioning whether you still want that. It was that conflict that created this dynamic interaction and made the movie work. That's simply it. The chemistry the two had, the perfect amount of dramatization they had for these two, every was so right on the money. David O. Russell just knew how to make the perfect mix.

For something so simple, everyone involved in the movie made it extra appealing. It was quirky and quite a bit of fun. Having Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence dance didn't hurt either. I thought their dance scene was one of the highlights of the movie. Good job to them by the way for doing that. I guess it helped that the person who adapted the screenplay also directed the movie because I'm sure he already had the vision for the movie. He knew where to take it and what to do with it. Judging from the final product, I'd say Russell executed every single one of his plans perfectly. It was a very well-crafted film designed to touch people's hearts and make them laugh all at the same time.

To be honest, I never thought the star of Hangover would be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. It just never crossed my mind. I must admit I was a little shocked when he got nominated but after seeing his performance I threw all my doubts out of the window. He was excellent as a disturbed young man.  Jennifer Lawrence was nothing less than superb as the troubled young widow. She was effective and showed a real performance. It's even a greater pleasure to know that her efforts to portray a character so out of her league, and so different from her was rewarded. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper were insanely good in the movie. Both of them stepped out of their usuals to deliver some of their best performances to date. It was also great to see an amazing supporting cast including the awesome Robert De Niro. He was magnificent! Enough said. Jackie Weaver, Chris Tucker, John Ortiz and Julia Stiles were also great additions to an already exceptional film.

I didn't realize at first how much I liked it. Then I found myself constantly looking back to the movie, the events that happened, the stand-out scenes, the story in general. The more time that passed, the more I realized how much I really liked the movie. I couldn't stop thinking about it even hours after seeing it. There's this sensation that seemed to live in me, that kind that made me want to rush back and watch it again. It was absolutely enjoyable to see two stars feed off of each other's talent to make each scene as powerful and as memorable as it can be.

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