I hate to do this again but as I am recuperating from emergency surgery I will not be blogging regularly at all.
I trust to be back in about 2 weeks.
Some people are scared to have their feet leave the ground whilst other delight in the challenge and sheer exhilaration of achieving the almost unachievable.
Here are some such people who dare to be different.
‘Silver Linings Playbook’ shows how far cinematic story-telling has progressed with its’ depiction of mental illness becoming open and honest. This more truthful exploration of issues has often led to some engaging films. ‘Playbook’ is one of them as it successfully mixes humour and drama. This allows for true empathy with its well-drawn characters as they attempt to overcome their various fragmented emotional states.
Dealing with a bipolar disorder, Pat (Bradley Cooper) is released from a mental home. Put in charge of his parents Pat Snr (Robert DeNiro) and Dolores (Jacki Weaver), he tries to re-establish his life. When he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young lady with her own demons, he thinks he is on the right path. Beginning a strange romance, their courtship is hindered by Pat’s ex-wife and others not realising how bright their flame burns.
Although featuring characters wallowing in self-inflicted misery, ‘Playbook’ is actually director David O. Russell’s most optimistic movie. Everyone is fractured somehow from Pat’s obsessive behaviour, his father’s gambling addiction and Tiffany’s mourning for lost love. Yet all of them are so determined to find that elusive ‘silver lining’ their quest does more harm than good. Only when they don’t try so hard in having a ‘happy ending’ can they truly succeed – something coming across very effectively.
The cast are first rate with Cooper and Lawrence making their roles sympathetic. You really shouldn’t warm to their characters but you do with some relatable traits making their problems feel genuine. De Niro and Weaver are great as Pat’s desperate parents – longing for an unattainable version of a picturesque family. Their performances are underscored by the deft mix of pathos and comedy naturally arising from situations. Whilst moments adhere to clichéd romantic-comedy formula, it has enough of its own energy making it unique.
A well-acted and scripted work, ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ thrives on its authenticity. That it remains consistently absorbing with such a tough subject matter is a good mark against a production striving for quality.
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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The Silver Linings Playbook [movie tie-in edition]: A Novel