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The Beaver – trying to be more than a puppet   Leave a comment

“Sunrise” was the word that came to my mind when I saw Porter embrace his dad at the end of the movie. Walter, Mel Gibson’s character, has been shown with rushed transitions – first into the desperate excitement of having found a puppet in himself and secondly into the man who slips into depression again on discovering himself being “puppeteered” by life anyway. It is almost as if Walter wants to breathe, but realizes that he has to stay within the confines of an oxygen mask because life is too gusty for him. All along though there was a sense of something missing in the film. But as I neared the end of it, I realized that a lot of the connections between the characters had been left in the backdrop which had fallen off somewhere. Like a garden snipped so much that all that is left is a neatly trimmed bush of crocuses huddled in an asymmetrically barren patch.

The depth of the moments between Walter and his older son, Walter and his wife, Walter and his VP were sorely missing. In fact I so longed to see the transition that his VP felt when Walter stepped back in with a puppet, but all I was “shown” was a switch of attitude. A bit too jumpy like a puppet. Meredith too was disjoint as a character. She seems like a kite dipping between the helplessness in her husband’s situation, then into the hopelessness of her child’s inability to open up, into the apathetic dedication in designing roller-coasters and lastly, and surprisingly, into a passionate sex life that lacks any emotion. It is almost as if the headlines for these characters were chalked, their characteristics bulleted, and then someone just forgot the time element to breathe life into each of these characters in a slow fluid motion. Hence, there is a sense of being dazed into the movie, rather than experiencing it.
What was cohesive though, was the parallel story of Norah and Porter. Unfortunately however this thread of story was too disconnected with the main one.
Overall, I found the film unnecessarily serious, too flimsy for the strong personalities in it, too fragile for the kind of a heavyweight Jodie is in terms of acting and too much of “subtitled acting” extracted from Mel Gibson.

Posted February 10, 2012 by Deepti G Gujar in articles, movies

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