Thursday, 21 February 2013

Silver Linings Playbook (2013) Review by Shivom Oza – Several Silver Linings On Show!

3.5/5 Stars

‘Silver Linings Playbook’ has received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director (David O. Russell). It has also managed to bag all the nominations in the four acting categories for Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro and Jackie Weaver. The film is about a dysfunctional family, or rather families, and imperfect individuals.

The film encompasses three genres – romance, comedy and drama. The best aspect about the film is that it does not paint a rosy picture about any character’s life. Instead, it dwells upon imperfections and harsh realities. Jennifer Lawrence delivers one of the best performances of the year in a film, which is filled with powerhouse performers. The film is brutally truthful when it comes to highlighting problems and is equivalently delightful when it comes to offering solutions. Quite easily, the ‘SLICE-OF-LIFE’ film of the year.  

After an eight-month stint in a mental institution, Pat Soliano (Bradley Cooper), who has had a history of physical assaults, emotional outbursts, rocky equations with wife Nikki (Brea Bee), moves back in with his parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jackie Weaver), and tries to get his act together (which includes getting back with his estranged, unfaithful ex-wife).

Pat Sr. and Dolores are facing financial problems of their own in addition to dealing with their son’s mental instability. Then, Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who happens to be his ex-wife Nikki’s best friend Veronica’s (Julia Stiles) younger sister. Tiffany’s husband loses his life in a car crash and this creates devastating repercussions on her mental health. The film is about how the two unstable individuals, Pat and Tiffany, bond and help each other get over their tumultuous pasts!

There are uncomfortable instances, notably the ugly physical altercation between Pat and his father, Tiffany’s emotional outbursts at Pat, Pat’s desperation to reconcile with his ex-wife, which will make you cringe and move you at the same time. The story at different points will evoke different emotions – sadness, anger, helplessness, laughter, contentment and in the end, that little bit of redemption!

David O. Russell’s screenplay has been adapted from the novel of the same name by Matthew Quick. The film is not just about a closer-to-reality story and terrific performances. It is as much about brilliant technical achievement in editing, cinematography, choreography and music composing. Cooper’s and Lawrence’s imperfect dance-piece in the climactic moments will definitely get you rooting for the pair!

This film about imperfect people has its imperfections. Don’t know whether it’s Oscar-worthy or not, but it definitely deserves a watch.

Shivom Oza

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