Movie Review – Silver Linings Playbook

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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I still don’t know why this movie got so much Oscar nominations. It’s just another rom com. May be you can say that it’s a marginally better made rom com. But that doesn’t make it Oscar worthy and deserve to be lauded by every movie pundits around the globe. First of all De Niro was wasted in this movie. He did what he has to do but this little screen space for a man who single handedly could turn the track is blemish. Bradley Cooper on the other hand couldn’t come to terms with the lead characters dilemma. He was confused of his presence in the middle rather than the confusion the character has to undergo. The only scope of respite was Jennifer Lawrence who was hot as well as performed her role brilliantly. Question is whether any other actor wouldn’t have performed the same role like she did. Yes they could have performed but she got a chance before others to do so.

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Pat (Bradley Cooper) is released from mental asylum and his friend Danny (an ever annoying Chris Tucker) escapes with him. Pat’s dad Pat Sr. (De Niro) has lost his job and currently bookmaking to run the family.  His mother is an innocent soul who is caught between the two asking Pat Sr. to restrain his temper and Pat to lower his enthusiasm. That is to no avail. Pat meets Tiffany (a beautiful Jennifer Lawrence) who is Ronnie’s sister in law and they develop a queer but interesting relationship. Tiffany is confident young widow with short temper and Pat is a person suffering from bipolar disorder.

Pat goes to meet Dr. Patel (Anupam Kher) who has nothing to do except appear in few scenes. Pat uses Tiffany to send letter to his divorced wife which Tiffany accepts on condition that he would dance with her in dance competition. With reluctance Pat accepts this offer but annoys Tiffany by being not committed and punctual to the practice schedule. Pat finally misses her dance completion because of a football match which he goes out with his brother. Things go awry and this makes Tiffany come to Pats home and say that Eagles win whenever they two are together. Pat Sr. considers this as a positive vibes and makes a final bet, a fortune, where Eagles have to win and Par Jr. and Tiffany has to score at least five points in their dance completion. There is no surprise next. This is the story. The point in explaining the story in detail is that. It’s just another story. If you found the story uninteresting that’s how the movie was. The problem with the movie is the package.

The rom and com worked well separately but together as a movie the rom com didn’t appeal to me. There were moments which made me laugh out loud. For example when Pat reads a Hemmingway novel which I just finished and throws it out of his room waking up the whole neighborhood was damn funny. I just finished “A Farewell to Arms” that time. May be that could be a reason too. Add to it when he takes envelope from his father’s room and says next morning that he didn’t like to wake him up, making De Niro stare at him and ask, “You wake me up at night 3’o clock to discuss about Hemmingway but you didn’t want to wake me up to get this envelope.” Those were scenes which were truly amazing. Another stand out scene was when Tiffany comes to Pats house and talks about football. The confidence that she exhibited was amazing.

The movies start was very promising where a voice in background talks about Sunday and slow music appears in the background. I thought the movie would be as good as About Schmidt but it wasn’t even close it. Right after the opening scenes actors became caricatures, mainly Bradley cooper. His inhibitions were there to see. Jennifer Lawrence on the other hand was flawless. Be it her dance or her action. She fired up the screen every time she came into the frame. Brad barely looked like a side kick. I’m not saying that he should have danced like MJ because that is not expected of him in that role. But a role of a bipolar disordered man is his once in lifetime opportunity to show to the world that he’s a serious actor which he failed to grab.

I could see this movie wasting most of the actors finesse. Anupam Kher is such a great actor who again gets to start with a promising scene but gradually disappears to nowhere. Last few minutes where he appears as a football fan and the dance completion where they score 5 points were too predictable. In a movie like this, one is supposed to know that the ending is going to be a happy one but every scene towards the end was guessable which is why it was irritating.

Coming out of the com part let’s get into the rom part. The romance works quite brilliantly. Given the varied nature of the leads the chemistry was excellent. Whenever Tiffany gets furious and Pat stands there looking dumb the mood reflects on the screen giving us a constant smile. Of the two I could see only Pat as a troubled person. Tiffany is so sure of what she is doing, she is confident and strong but she is so confident that it affects the people who are with her. May be that is her problem. Jogging scenes with Pat were excellently executed too. They could have used better music in the background to light up the mood. Music in those romantic scenes of theirs didn’t appeal to me much.

I don’t have an answer if you ask me what should have been made to make this movie better. It’s not my job too. But given the circumstances this movie could’ve paved way for some deeper insight into people who don’t have a steady mind. That insight was missing. All we could see was how they two know each other on surface level. We couldn’t see what their individual thoughts are. We see them as two persons who think differently but how?

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