Thursday, February 12, 2009

Lars and the Real Girl...

If you want to see this movie... Don't read my review as I give away many plot points and spoilers. Most people didn't see this film based completely on the title and the marketing. I saw it based on a recommendation and I finally did. Here is my review.

I had heard about this movie a lot. That being said, I wasn't expecting, what I got. A side note to start. This is an adult film that should be watched with other adults. This is not a film for kids or immature adults. This is an adult film with adult themes, like Marley and Me. I don't know what the category is for that kind of film, but this falls directly in that wheelhouse.

It is a film in which all the actors did an amazing job. There should be no doubt that Gosling did an excellent job acting in this movie. Second side note, it really goes to show that the academy really does cater to the studio and not the independent film or independent studio. Third side note, you can also see that the studio's marketing had no idea how to market this film. They should have been consulted before it was made.

In the utopia where this film takes place, it was interesting to watch how the writer took you on the journey of mental illness. I say utopia because we all know that there were many scenes and situations that in the real world would not have rung true. (i.e., the mall, the funeral, election to the school board, the hospital) There was too little resistance from his fellow workers, and church goers, to be realistic.

That being said, I did enjoy the film, although I don't think that most people gave this movie a chance. I would call this film a character study. The story is just there to move the characters along.

I did enjoy how they were able to use the pregnancy and the weather to show time. We know by these small details how this film is progressing and a tribute to the writer.

We really got to see Lars at the beginning of the film, where he is terrified of personal contact. When he is given the "real" flower and told to give it to someone special, he panics and throws away the "real" flower. We start to see his world spin apart. The viewer of this tragedy doesn't understand the context of him flinging the flower, but the clues are all there. In the middle of the film at the church, a friend gives Bianca "fake" flowers and he says that they can't die. At this point his mind is accepting of his plastic girlfriend, but his mind is on a journey. The pregnancy is moving towards a conclusion and so hopefully is his delusions. At the funeral we see Lars again with a "real" flower, and we get to see he has come into the home stretch of accepting life. I would have liked to see the third act of post pregnancy. How does Lars accept this new life? Does this pull him around to complete his circle or does this drive him back into delusions?

As for his budding relationship, this is a film and not reality. Margo and Lars might marry, but would never have children, and there relationship would always be superficial because of his mental illness.

A powerful film but watching mental illness is really hard. Once again all the actors did a great job. I t is a good film, but not for kids or most adults to watch. I can see why different people liked it and recommended it.

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