Friday 19 April 2013

Film Review: Silver Linings Playbook

To be honest with you, this isn't going to be a review. It's going to be a rant with lots of spoilers of the absolutely amazing book version. Avert your eyes from the words after the jump break if you haven't read it. In fact, avert your eyes in the direction of a copy and read the damn thing before you a) watch the film and b) get me knocking on your door (because you know I know where you live), preparing to punch you in the face. READ. THE. BOOK.

Well, that last statement has kind of given away the whole basis of this post, but we'll continue on regardless.

The film industry is an awful, mass market, awful, awful creature that has become the slave of Capitalism for Capitalism's sake. Did you need to butcher a beautiful, heart-rending novel so that idiots would not be hurt by the complicated feelings and things? No, you didn't, film industry. You absolutely didn't. You simplified a story that was the definition of complicated. I hate you for that. And also your Capitalism.

Yes, I am a leftie. Just like you should be, film industry! --grumbles about overall wrongness of 'creative' types being right-wing--

 So, how do they simplify the story?
  1. Pat knows what he did to end up in the hospital.
  2. He knows how long he's been there, and it isn't three years.
  3. His dad is happy that he's home... wait a second. That's not simplifying, that's just down right rebuilding the father-son relationship (and Pat's father as a charcter) from the ground up. Why?
  4. Pat goes to one American football game. One.
  5. He doesn't have a gym, he just runs occasionally.
  6. He sends maybe one letter to his wife.
  7. His therapist isn't that big of an influence, and he puts the song on at their first meeting on purpose. Again, why?
  8. He dances at an actual dance competition.
  9. He doesn't win.
  10. He gets five points, which is enough for his father to win a bet he made against a friend that had basically all his money on it.
  11. Nikki turned up at the dance competition -- which of course means that there was none of that meeting Nikki, finding out it was all a lie, finding Danny's house. You know, the actual important end bits.
I could probably go on, but this post has been in the works for about a month (one word for you: exams -- actually, more than one word, you can also have: teachers who are unable to teach anything but how to leave work until the absolute last minute), so I've forgotten it all. Basically, this has been eaten up and spit out by the corporate machine. If you don't intend to read the book (and you should), then you'll probably enjoy watching this film... or maybe you won't, since I've ruined a couple of plot points, but whatever. If you're a die-hard fan of the book, then watch the film -- you will even if you know it's bad if you're anything like me -- but remember that your dreams and expectations will be trampled on and bulldozed.
Stupid Capitalists.

Annoyed book fan out!

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