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Silver Linings Playbook  : Crazy Is The New Craze
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Friday, February 22, 2013
Romantic comedy
David O. Russell
Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, Shea Wigham, Julia Stiles, Brea Bree
When mom (Jacki Weaver) brings Pat (Bradley Cooper) home from a psychiatric institution, his bi-polar disorder disrupts the neighbourhood and disturbs bookie dad (Robert DeNiro) who has OCD. Until Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), weird in her own way, dances her way into their lives. And hey presto, there’s a silver lining for everybody.
The plot: Pat Solitano has lost it all – his house, his wife and his old life. Back with his parents after a stint at a mental facility for an undiagnosed bipolar disorder, his juju obsessed dad insists on Pat being the lucky charm for his favourite football team to win, or wants someone to hold on to a seat clutching a handkerchief, or place the remotes in a certain way to win the match, etc.

Soon Pat’s caught between making time for his dad’s demands and his commitment to Tiffany (loaded with her own baggage), in return for her help in reaching out to his ex-wife. With predictable twists and turns a la soppy Hindi movie, the silver lining is finally out there for all the members of the ‘S’ family.

The good: Based on Matthew Quick’s book of the same name, it’s the brilliant performances that motor it all the way. Everything about Bradley is lovably natural – his irritations, frustrations, temper tantrums et al – and he’s crazily good looking to boot. Jennifer Lawrence proves once again that she has what it takes to be the best. And the unlikely chemistry between the two is perfect. Except that his I-love-you is abrupt and without a convincing preamble.

Robert DeNiro is fantastic as always, and he has aged so gracefully. The supports from Jacki Weaver, as his mom and John Ortiz as Ronnie, Pat’s buddy, are also delightful.

There’s raw comedy and razor-sharp wit with Danny Elfman’s music setting the perfect mood. Masanobu Takayanagi pitches in with his beautiful camerawork.

The bad: A few characters are quite unnecessary and have probably been crammed in to up the mass appeal. For example, Anupam Kher, as Dr Cliff Patel, is forced into the screenplay with hardly anything to do. He is an actor with a lot of potential but he is totally underutilised and made to mouth dialogues in an obvious Indian accent. Chris Tucker as Danny, Pat’s friend from the mental facility, also adds no meaning to the story. Although the movie starts off on a high, it soon falters when it takes the tried and tired conventional route to a predictable happy ending. You leave with a feeling of haven’t-I-seen-this-before?

Overall: Guided by its nominations for the Oscars, don’t go in expecting a world-changing, life-altering movie.

– Priyanka Ketkar
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