When a director can bring together comedy and drama to the silver screen so delicately yet so unnervingly, it’s only reasonable to applaud the film for its efforts of realism.
Director David O. Russell adapts Matthew Quick’s novel, “Silver Linings Playbook,” with such intriguing compassion and grace.
The film tells the story of Pat Solitano, a Philadelphia man recently released man from the local mental health facility in Baltmore. Salitano, a passionate book lover in an unfortunate health state, looks to reconcile with his wife after his criminal act involving his beloved.
He intends to do so by putting his life back together piece by piece, while battling his bipolar habits. Alongside his internal struggles and re-adaptation to home life, Pat encounters Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) through a mutual friend.
The pair form an odd and often conflicting connection due to their quirky personalities and traumatizing backstories.
Pat has his criminal past and bipolar disorder. Tiffany is a recent widow that finds unfortunate ways to cope with her loss.
Tiffany knows Pat’s ex-wife, Nikki. And somewhat forcefully, Pat proposes that Tiffany becomes a way to contact his distant ex-wife.
Though this may be a romantic comedy drama, the romantic aspect of the film is not exactly apparent throughout.
It has romantic elements, but the story tends to focus more on tension and drama, with undertones of love.
“Silver Linings Playbook” is driven by its remarkable performances. The lead and supporting actors all encapsulate the emotion of their characters. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took notice of the performances, nominating each of them in all the major acting categories.
Robert DeNiro as Pat’s father crippled with obsessive compulsive habits involving the Philadelphia Eagles and their ability to win, grosses the audience and provides an interestingly tangled subplot with him, his son and his Eagles superstition.
Though not nearly as developed, Jacki Weaver’s performance as Pat’s mother is devastating and wonderful.
Her outside perspective helps the audience empathize with the more intensely unhealthy moments that occur between Pat and Pat Sr. inside of the household.
This outside perspective is not always needed, however. The script and the performances of all of the characters are remarkably relatable because of their flaws. We’re all a little crazy. It’s endearing to see how Tiffany, Pat and his father come to deal with their individual yet complex situations.
The tense interactions between every character becomes tiresome in the best way. Any audience will be enveloped by the conversations since they are always consistently flooded with emotion.
Whether it is because of pain, love, disappointment, disagreement or disapproval, the dialogue never lets up and drags the moviegoer through the emotional tension within their relationships.
The emotional tension and conversations between Cooper and Lawrence are electric. And their passionate banter fills the screen in such a compelling manner.
Even when they are bitterly sarcastic towards one another, or enraged by the others’ actions, it is intoxicating. The dialogue is only effective with a well organized screenplay. “Silver Linings Playbook” has a concise and engaging one indeed.
The way the picture flows and gradually develops each character intrigues the audience and builds up to a remarkably heartfelt ending.
“Silver Linings Playbook” is wonderfully insane and compelling, led by powerful performances along with a well-paced adapted screenplay.