admin On gennaio - 23 - 2013

Silver Linings Playbook

When two negatives make a positive

By Chiara Spagnoli

Every cloud has a silver lining just as every distortion has the potential to be fixed by love. This is essentially what the feature film directed by David Owen Russell, starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, is all about.

‘Silver Linings Playbook’ is the story of two troubled souls finding and helping each other out of madness. Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) has lost everything – his house, his job, and his wife – and is now living back with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert DeNiro) after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life and reunite with his wife Nikki (Brea Bree), he found cheating on him; but when he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.

Life doesn’t come with a playbook. Love none the less. But silver linings can, and may thusly lead to affecting life and love constructively. Russell’s adaptation of the novel by Matthew Quick maintains the delicate concern for mental illness and the complexity of dealing with an invisible ailment that sneaks up on us unpredictably and has overt consequences on families and communities.

The thin line between rage and madness, disturbed individuals and mere exasperation is explored in a very physical psychic odyssey. Punches, fights, smashed objects, embracing dance poses…and stumbles: the body becomes the tool to vent out the turmoils of the mind. And the movie’s humour breaks through our natural defence mechanism against ‘messed up people’ drawing the audience to empathise, and in some occasions even identify, with the troubled protagonists.

Therapy to instability comes through concern and commitment: someone willing to help and set things straight without commiseration, assigning a task or goal, a challenge that has to be fulfilled by the ailing person. After all isn’t this the urge of every human being? Having someone to believe in you and setting you on track when you get lost? We all have the same needs but are wonderfully different, unique and unusual in our own ways. Simply flawed. But these very imperfections distinguish us and complement each of our encounters in the infinite puzzle of life. When the right person meets our path and enhances it, that silver lining becomes a gift.



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