Trying to fall in love with film again.

Silver Linings Playbook deserved a second chance.

Silver Linings Playbook - WikipediaStory

After spending 8 months in a mental health facility, Pat Solitano is released into the custody of his father and mother. His main concern is to get back with his estranged wife Nikki. While on his journey of self-recovery, he meets Tiffany who bulldozed her way into his life with her own plethora of problems.

The story here is a pretty simple 'boy meets girl' and they are both broken and mend each other. What makes this different is the inclusion of Pat's struggles with mental health and Tiffany's struggles with mental health and grief. Both of these are very serious topics and even though this is technically a comedy, the movie doesn't make light of their issues. They don't magically fix each other by the end of the movie and because of that, it feels more realistic.

Acting 

I have a love-hate relationship with Bradley Cooper in this movie. Pat is someone whose actions needs to be taken with a grain of salt. You're never sure if he's going to snap and sometimes you can see him struggle with that. Those are the moments when Bradley Cooper shines. That being said, Pat as a character did get on my nerves a little. Maybe it's the plucky attitude and almost constant optimism but eventually, was a little over it. That being said, it has more to do with me than with the performance as a whole and I understand why Pat is the way he is. I personally prefer the more dramatic moments over the comic ones but he manages to switch between both with relative ease while still never losing focus on the seriousness of some of the themes.

While I don't have to mention it, I'm going to. This is the performance that won Jennifer Lawrence her first Oscar for Best Actress and now I understand why. Tiffany is a complex character who does things on a dime. She is very confident but also incredibly insecure and hurt and Jennifer Lawrence did a great job of being headstrong and rude one minute then broken and sombre the next. While Pat is the driving force of the movie, Tifanny is the emotion behind it. Richard Corliss of Time magazine said in his review "Lawrence is the reason to stay." and I agree with that assessment. Given Tiffany's unpredictable nature and crass behaviour, she's unpredictable.

The chemistry between the cast is another reason to stay. It's organic and tangible. They feel like and act like a family and that's part reason why the film works. You have a cast who are equally good on their won but when you bring them together it works. their liens flow and no one looks like they're overacting.  Everything feels grounded and real.

Oscar-Favorit "Silver Linings" mit Bradley Cooper, Jennifer ...

I say all that to say that the supporting characters are just as likeable as the main ones. Although, when you have Rober De Niro (who delivers my favourite performance in the movie), Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker, what did you really expect.

Writing/Direction

David O. Russell was able to craft a witty film that deals with heavy subject matter but still manages to make you laugh and warm your heart without feeling like it's undercutting said subject matter.  You're not laughing because Pat is bipolar and his dad might have OCD. You're laughing because characters have witty responses and because Chris Tucker's character said something funny.

When I first watched Silver Linings Playbook, I thought it was very dialogue-heavy and I still think so. While there is a lot of talking, its not the kind of movie where you have to pay attention to every single thing that the characters say but having them talk a lot allows you to connect with them, especially when some of their actions may leave you with a head scratch.

Set Design 

Usually,I take time to talk about the set design, but here there isn't much to say. Given the grounded nature of the film, the sets and locations are nothing special but that's the point. You aren't mean to focus on the surroundings, you're meant to focus on the characters,

Score/Soundtrack 

When Danny Elfman is involved in a score you know that it is going to be good. One of the most interesting things about this score is that it isn't very present. Sure the movie has a score, but it isn't present in a lot of scenes and I like that. This is a movie with characters who literally star yelling unprovoked, having a score present at all times would be sensory overload. When music is used, its usually in important scenes and a lot of the times there isn't a lot of dialogue to follow and you can really focus on the scene rather than the dialogue

Overall Thoughts

Okay, I have to be honest, I didn't like this movie that much when I first saw it in 2013. I thought it was okay but nothing mind-blowing. And while my opinion has changed, I still don't think it's mind-blowing. I will say that I appreciate it a lot more now, the acting is very good, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper's chemistry carries the film and with likeable supporting characters and one of my favourite actors. There is also solid direction from David O. Russell, the movie never really tried to be more than it is and because of that, you form a connection with these characters and want to see them win (literally)

I'm happy I gave this movie a second chance because now I see it for what it is. A fun family movie about two people who find each other out of unlikely circumstances. And while it may not top my favourite movie lists, I can say I was wrong about it.

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