I’ve been meaning to write a review of this film for quite some time now, but I wanted to wait until a second viewing. Now the reason I wanted to do this was because the first time I watched it, I was really impressed by it, and I didn’t want it to be a film that I could only appreciate the first time around. After the second viewing, it’s safe to say that my view is not changed, it is quite brilliant.
Firstly I feel as though I should praise the writing behind the film, I haven’t read the novel that inspired the film but I intend to because of what a brilliant story it presents. In terms of the film itself David O.Russell had done a spectacular job with the screenplay; it was interesting, it was funny, it had a certain charm to it. He clearly understood the depths of the characters he was dealing with, and to be honest I think he was robbed of an academy award. The award for Best Adapted Screenplay went to Argo, which if I’m honest did have a good writer and the screenplay was also good, but it wasn’t as brilliant as that of Silver Linings Playbook. The screenplay was witty but then equally successful as presenting the audience with the serious elements of the story.
Next I have to address the cast of the film; brilliant on all accounts. Bradley Cooper was superb, he dealt with the layers of his character very well and he reflected all sides of the character’s condition which really stood out for me. He was worthy of the nomination for an academy award, but with the tough competition he had this year it wasn’t going to be good news for him. Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver are great in their supporting roles, their powerful portrayal of emotions worked very well on screen and they had good chemistry with the other actors involved. But, the star of the cast for me was Jennifer Lawrence. I know it is very easy to jump on the band wagon and praise the winner of the academy award, but I can’t help watching the film and realising how much she deserved it. Her personality as someone in that mind set was brilliantly accompanied by her personality as a dancer, with strong emotions and sharp delivery of lines she gave a sound performance that showed just how talented she is.
While on the subject of dancing I have to mention the directing, which I thought was superb. I’ve admired David O’Russell’s work in the past, in particular ‘The Fighter’, but once again he proved his skill as a director. His visual style is interesting because he does try to make the film very close to real life which he pulls of brilliantly, and he handles both faster paced scenes and scenes of dialogue well. I really liked the dance element of this film, his directing was very tight but flowed excellently so the dance sequences showed the nature of both characters personalities as people and their separate entities as dancers. It’s all well and good making a film romantic and funny, with punch ups in between, but the dancing added a really nice artistic element to the film. It was different from work I’ve seen of his in the past but O.Russell showed his talents to an even further extent with this film, truly terrific job.
Lastly I feel I should talk about the themes of the film, there was a lot linked to people suffering with mental health problems and how they deal with them, which are sensitive topics but were handled very well in the film. There were also themes linked to love and the importance of having an other half to support you which I thought were good. One big theme for me that stuck out was this message of how important the family is, for support and guidance through rough times and looking out for each other. These themes also linked very nicely to an overall message of having a second chance, and wanting to change your life for the better, which really made me feel uplifted and happy upon finishing the film. I really liked that message, it reflected the feeling I think we all have as humans; wanting the opportunity for a second chance and to make the most out of life.
Overall I would give the film four stars, it was a genuinely interesting and enjoyable experience to watch and I would happily watch it again. It wasn’t completely perfect, but to be honest I’m not really fussed; it was a charming film that made me feel happy throughout. An outstanding performance by the cast, and David O.Russell as the director and writer. I would recommend this film to anyone, I know some may be cynical towards it because it is in some aspects a romantic film, but I think it’s shameful to think like that. It takes a truly narrow minded person to watch this film and not look past one element of it, because in essence you are ruining it for yourself. Approach it with an open mind and you’ll leave the film feeling both entertained and uplifted.