By Guest Blogger: Iva Radosevic
The film SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is a beautifully portrayed story of a conflicted man that struggles with bipolar disorder, which is characterized by periods of mania alternating with periods of depression.
Bradley Cooper, as Pat Solitano, does an excellent job of bringing this disorder to life and hooking the audience within the first five minutes of the film by inspiring empathy and compassion in the viewer and resonating a fluctuating ray of optimism throughout all his episodes of severe mood swings.
Despite the fact that Pat has lost his marriage and his job, he is determined to show his family and his estranged wife that he has come a long way and knows how to turn any negative energy into something with a promise of hope.
His true transformation begins to happen when he meets Tiffany (played by Jennifer Lawrence), who serves as a mirror to the inner pain and anger that he feels. Tiffany’s torment over the loss of her husband allows Pat to feel a stronger connection to her and have greater understanding of her ways. Through their mutual pain and anger they feel comfortable in each other’s presence and recognize a bond from the beginning that progressively intensifies as their friendship builds throughout the film.
This new friendship helps Pat rekindle the lost connection with his father, played by Robert De Niro. Pat’s commitment to Tiffany’s dance routine practice keeps him unavailable to join his father for the football watching at home. This inspires Pat’s father to express verbally why he finds it important to have his son join him during these games. By keeping Pat occupied and away from home, Tiffany plays a key role in inspiring this critical bonding conversation between father and son that takes place in the later half of the film. She also turns out to be the positive energy that brings good luck to Pat’s father in the winning of his favorite football team by noting that every time his team won she was with his son in some context. The strong bond that Pat and Tiffany share turns out to be the glue that links the whole family back together through a common thread of optimism and hope.
The reframing of hope in the face of an unfortunate situation is solidified in one of the last scenes of the movie where Pat and Tiffany manage to get a score of 5 out of 10 in their dancing competition and the whole family bursts out with explosive excitement over a score that is viewed as only average by the judges and the rest of the audience. This ‘5’ is a winning number for the family, since the father bet with a friend that Pat and Tiffany could achieve at least that number in a competition against much more professional dancers. Being rewarded a ‘5’ was the peak of the mountain for the family and it was the epitome of what ‘silver lining’ represents in this film.SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is a film of hope, empathy, compassion, understanding, reconnection and love. It inspires us to view life through a positive filter and recognize the beauty in the lessons of pain and loss. We learn that by redefining our goals and expectations an ‘average’ score may just be good enough to give us the happiness worth a lifetime.
P.S. Note from Kate Neligan – Founder of Synergy TV: This movie is currently a big box office hit with a lot of positive word of mouth and sold-out showings. I couldn’t be happier because this raw, original, authentic story really deserves all the positive press. We definitely give it a big thumbs up as a mindful movie and hits out Top 10 List of the Year!