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Silver Linings Playbook (The Film)

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This is my review of the film Silver Linings Playbook, which is a relatively low-budget romantic comedic-drama production by David O. Russell, and starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence (who won several awards for it including the Academy Award (= Oscar) for Best Actress). This film deals with the attempt of Pat Solitano (Cooper) who was hospitalised for several months in a psychiatric ward after diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and his attempts to deal with it, and his relationship with the recently-widowed sex addict Tiffany Maxwell (Lawrence).


As someone who suffered in the past from clinical depressive periods, some manias and still suffers from hypomanias, and was hospitalised in a while in a non-closed psychiatric ward (in order to get some diagnosis as a person with disability), I was able to relate to this film and feel compassion towards the character of Pat, who exhibited typical behaviour that was associated with people with Bipolar disorder: fluctuation beteen depressed and elevated moods, challenging social norms, hypersexuality, extreme anger and lack of self-control, awkwardness in handling situations, etc.

My main problem with the film was that it was slow starting, as I kept expected JLawrence's character to show up. After that the film gained much more momentum, so it is worth the wait and the film is afterwards enjoyable. The movie is also a bit irresponsible in dealing with the solution to that of people who exhibit the symptoms of Bipolar disorder (e.g: by possibly claiming that it is important to take medication).

Anyway, the acting in the film is great, and there is a lot of jokes, awkward situations, and memorable moments, which made it memorable for me. I left the cinema feeling inspired and exalted, but a female American friend of mine who has been through a lot of similar hardship, told me that she cried for several hours after watching Silver Linings Playbook, so you have been warned. ( I have a relatively mild case of Bipolar disorder, so I can be thankful for that. )

So my conclusion of the film is that it is imperfect, but still very enjoyable and exciting. I think that its main theme was that you are probably not what Americans perceive as a “Loser” just because you’re not the richest or most famous or most successful or the top of your class or whatever or one first place at some silly competition. That put aside, I believe that, as I learned from Atlas Shrugged, you should aspire to be a super-heroic person even if what you appear to do seems insignificant. As I noted in my essay, “The Eternal Jew”, I am the most powerful man on earth, and “I am the Messiah” (the latter reflects upon my upbringing as a secular Jewish Israeli, but is still something every person should believe in, and it will make the world a better place if they do). But I think the film indicates that even apparently ordinary people can be superheroic even if they are not the best at life.

Finally, I should note that following seeing the film and Ms. Lawrence's winning of the Academy Awards for it (in that order), I have been quite infatuated with her, and now thinks she has become the “Alpha Female”, whom many men covet. Especially of note is the fact that she won the Academy Awards while being only 22 years old, which I believe (and hope) that we are headed into an age where technology has empowered youth enough to compete with older people who have more experience and we will soon see even younger people taken the Academy Awards and other prizes like that - possibly at the age of 10 or even younger. In the middle ages, the apprentices of craftsmen, completed their so-called Masterpiece (= piece of becoming a master- not one's magnus opus), at a much younger age than most people graduate from high school today, and Gauss has already made important contributions to Mathematics as a very young boy.

Anyway, you may still be able to see the film at the cinema, and it should be available on DVDs/Blu-Rays/Netflix/etc., and I also found plenty of torrents of it if that's more your alley (see my essay The Case for File Swapping, and the many links on its cover page, for why I have no problem with recommending it).

Cheers, -- Shlomi Fish.

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