My wife insisted that I read “The Silver Linings Playbook”. She also gave me an ultimatum: I had ten days to read it before the movie was going to be played on our TV and I was to be forced to watch it as in A Clockwork’s Orange. I have to admit, I am glad she did but please don't tell her! I will briefly review the book and then the movie.
|I could've ended like this guy...|
The novel is written in first person; the POV is that of Pat Peoples who just came out from a mental hospital. Pat doesn’t remember what happened, other than he ended up being separated from his wife. He doesn’t even remember how long he has been inside the hospital. The only thing he knows that he wants to get back with Nikki. As I mentioned earlier, Pat and Nikki have been separated during a time that Pat christened the "Apart time".
To complicate things, his parents are not much willing to tell him what happened, why he can’t see Nikki yet and why they removed every picture of Nikki from the house. Now, one important thing to notice that when Pat comes back home it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. His father can’t stand him. Whenever Pat and his dad are in the same room there is some tension.
It is easy to foresee that Pat will soon or later meet a girl; this girl is Tiffany, an individual with some problems of her own. The two will grow a troubled friendship and the reader will have some fun reading about it. I am not going to spoil it anymore.
Stylistically I found the book interesting. As my wife pointed out, it reads as if a child wrote it. It’s linguistically simple, there are no weird descriptions and the reader is left with a good feeling after the last page is turned. Two thumbs up.
Ok, first the BAD. Whoever decided to cast in Robert De Niro and even worse make him as if he was playing a Focker should be fired on spot. I would actually be glad to chew his brain (kidding!). To me it’s completely unacceptable that the father’s character has been changed so vastly that it doesn’t even make sense. It’s stupid and boring. I am left wondering if De Niro is trying to change his “bad ‘Al Capone’ guy” look to “good ‘ol grandpa Bobbi”.
One more thing I didn’t understand is why they explained what happened to Pat within the first five minutes of the movie . I am not really complaining, it could be that keeping the mystery for one hour would’ve made the movie more of a Lt. Columbo story than a good psychological drama. I suggest to you to read the book first.
The actors are all amazing, with the exception of the dull De Niro. Bradley Cooper (Pat) is very credible, has the right voice tonalities and is quite funny to watch, but the real star is Jennifer Lawrence (Tiffany). She is sublime, portraying a woman much older than she is in real life. She won an Oscar for this role and I believe it’s truly deserved. Impressive.
The movie gets only one thumb up because of De Niro, otherwise it would’ve been an almost perfect interpretation of an already good book.