Accidents! Hahaha. Have no idea how it happened, but this piece posted – just the title! So here I am. Back and ready for take-off.
Forget Silver Linings Playbook. I know people raved about that film, but it didn’t do much for me. The depiction of two people, both with a diagnosed psychiatric disorder, their romance, the happy ending, left a superficial taste in my mouth. It was a fairy tale. I suppose it helped bring Mental Illness into the spotlight, but through rose-colored lenses. The happy ending was especially annoying because we know when we have such diseases seldom are the endings happy. Rather, we are caught up in a storm that ruins relationships with spouses, lovers and children and friends and co-workers (If we have any). The scars are permanent on all of those involved. And the biggest challenge is the daily search for equilibrium and minimizing the wounds of the psyche.
So Silver Linings Playbook, for me, at least, was comparable to daytime soap operas – the sanitized version of “life,” which is nothing more than an escape route into sentimentality, presenting perfectly painted faces – no scars, no stained teeth, because who wants to go to a movie and see that, anyway?
Actually, I do.
Films such as Trainspotting, for example, which I can only revisit once every 3 years because of the intensity of the subject depicted there – despite its cinematic brilliance and writing, its balance between the tragic and scatalogical humor, the incredible acting – especially appeal to me.
But then we come across a film like The Aviator, which although now more than 10 years old, more closely approximates the struggle, confusion, and eccentricities of an actual person who clearly is not normal, but this, in no way compromises, the gifts of such a person. And which, if it had occurred in the present climate of psychiatry, the essential spirit of that person would be suppressed until that spark could no longer be expressed because they would be heavily medicated and perhaps even institutionalized indefinitely.
The are the Visionaries – right? Those whose contributions often lead to dramatic and revolutionary breakthroughs, despite their Mental Illness, in any field imaginable, or more precisely … That not yet imagined by anyone else …
They are the fighters, the determined ones who keep going despite adversity, to reach for and make tangible what is intangible. The ones who never abandon or betray their visions.
The Aviator is all about that. And Leonardo, one of the finest actors around, never fails to deliver an exceptional performance.
So if you are interested in a more honest portrayal of Mental Illness, I’d put my money on this film, and not Silver Linings Playbook, any day.