Silver Linings Playbook Review

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SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK REVIEW

Everyone has quirks that make him or her an individual. We filter through life, attempting to seamlessly weave our oddities into a “normal” person. As difficult as trying to fit circles into squares, the silver lining in these valiant attempts is that the “normal” person doesn’t exist. That is what writer-director David O. Russell understood when making The Silver Linings Playbook, The film is a fantastic study in how our individual quirks, though varying in degree, have the ability to render all of us completely insane.

The film focuses on disgraced former schoolteacher Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) as he attempts to reinvent himself using life’s silver linings. The film begins when Solitano is released from a mental institution. An homage to One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Solitano is the hero of the asylum, having convinced his doctors that his bipolar disorder is well-controlled and will not lead to another violent outburst like the one which nearly killed his unfaithful wife’s lover. A hopeless romantic from the very beginning, Solitano is determined to rekindle his relationship with his disloyal wife. Though Cooper’s intensity is impressive, this plotline becomes secondary as the various other characters weave their quirks into Solitano’s life. Pat Solitano Sr. (Robert De Neiro) is not only an overly zealous Philadelphia Eagles fan, but also a gambling addict and closeted obsessive compulsive. His surreptitiousness hinders his relationship with Pat—whom he believes to be his football good luck charm—much to his dismay as a father. Pat, who is frustrated by the parallels between his own violent tendencies and his father’s behavior, pushes him away when he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Laurence,) a disturbed young widow and sister-in-law to Pat’s best friend Ronnie (Johnny Ortiz.) In obvious irony, Ronnie is perhaps the unhappiest character in the film, though he is in a stable marriage with Pat’s ex-wife’s sister Veronica...
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