Saturday, 24 November 2012

Silver linings playbook

 Often confused and always predictable is an accurate description of nearly every 21st century 'rom-com' to date, used as a cheap way to lure couples and unwilling men. The newest in this dying genre is the lavishly named Silver linings playbook, a film which looks to be a 'game changer' displaying an interesting premise that has otherwise been largely ignored. Although this film proves to be impressive from the exterior, as you delve deeper into the film and whittle down it's tough shell, it begins to show it's true bland colours.
With clear intentions to be a sophisticated tale, pandering to the mature audience, and with desires to be considered for an Oscar nomination, Silver linings playbook became discombobulated in it's storytelling, unsure of what its themes were and who to aim them at. Beginning with rich depth and intrigue we follow Bradley Cooper a recently heartbroken husband who went into a state of mild insanity after he found his wife with another man. He attends daily treatment after his short term stay at the mental institute as he attempts to escape his past, however despite his efforts he cannot seem to forget his wife as he attempts to frequently visit her. Soon after his release he's invited to a friends dinner whereby he meets Jennifer Lawrence a young relatable woman with similar issues.

 Throughout the course of this opening quarter we follow his daily life and are introduced to a number of possible meaningful themes however none are fully explored, instead the remainder of the story ensues in all it's idiocy. What should've been an intellectual study into the pathways of love, instead transformed into a naive view of relationships tentatively poking at a plethora of meaningful themes but rarely delving in deep. This subsequently led to a bland two hours of bad jokes and whimsical dialogue as the characters failed to create any connection to the now tiresome audience. The only characters that make this picture bearable is the bulging personalities of the two leads, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, although a connection to the audience fails, a connection to each other was certainly present providing some fantastic chemistry from the contrasting bland screenplay. This provided for the odd occasion of genuine emotion and sincerity that is to be expected from a film of this calibre. 

 Irritation soon seeps in as an obvious half hearted effort is inserted, both in the areas of screenplay and acting performances. The extensive supporting cast do little at all to support the two lead characters, only providing the occasional unnecessary appearance and comment, and in the rarity that they do appear they're all piled together in one room which adds no meaning or relevance only unintentional humour. The performances of the fantastic De Niro and Weaver are as still as good as ever however alike the majority of the films burdens, they're done an injustice by the poor screenplay giving neither of them any where near enough screen time as is necessary. 

 With the potential to be a true 'game changer', Silver linings playbook disappoints in nearly all areas, providing an uneven mess of a narrative to pathetically fuel the apathetic cast 'over the finish line'. With Lawrence finally beginning to find her feet in the industry, this films few saviours appear in the performances of the two leads as well as De Niro and Weaver, their involvement may not have been fully abused however when it was we saw glimpses of brilliance. Interpreted as an ignorant route towards Oscar nomination, Silver linings playbook contains little substance and near to no 'silver lining'.

50%- Like a dry cream cracker, bland, boring and with no substance.

 Calum Russell

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