50/50 (2011)

 

Directed by Jonathan Levine, staring Joseph Gordon-lewitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick and Bryce Dallas Howard. This film is based upon a true story about a man diagnosed with cancer and his uphill battle with it.

It is always incredibly difficult to deal with a subject matter which is close to the heart of thousands of people and is an incredibly painful experience for anyone to live through or to have known anyone affected by this. Which is why when making a comedy about it, you must give it respect and not make it into a joke.

This film does deal with the subject with the care that is needed. Yes this is an excellent film to watch however you really have to fight to keep watching. This is because though it says comedy it’s actually hugely tragic throughout with a few moments of well-timed and well placed humour.

For those of you who have recently lost some one due to Cancer I suggest to stay very clear of this film, it will not make you happy instead it will probably bring back painful memories which you don’t need.

The performances themselves are all excellent baring Seth Rogen, played the best friend sticking by Levitt’s character, who I was not completely convinced by as I felt he was playing himself too much. Joseph Gordon-levitt played his part perfectly, you could feel his pain, his suffering every moment of this long journey.

Anna Kendrick plays the psychiatrist and does her job very well, the nervous tension between Levitt and Kendrick is perfectly played, and you completely believe every word that both of them say.

Bryce Dallas Howard, though not there for long does have a strong performance and the script is well worked so that everything the audience thinks about her is said be either Rogen or Levitt.

One thing I would like to address is the uproar that this film was not given more award attention. After watching this I can see why it is not. In year full of hardship and struggles why would we go to the cinema for escapism into more misery and depression?  The films that won the awards are full of joy and happiness which is what we yearn for these days. This is not a mark on the film being bad, it is not, it’s a mark of bad timing and just never being on the road to the awards.

My thinking was this, the film would deal with the subject of Cancer with the respect to all those who have suffered from it for the first twenty minutes, then it would become more light-hearted and bring some light to the audience. Instead is a depressing film with some hints of comedy but not enough to make this into a comedy.

The performances carried this film from more than just sheer misery and frustration felt from Levitt, had it been a weaker flawed cast then this would just have been a miserable film to behold.

One way of looking at this is that, it maybe a struggle to watch for a reason as we watch Levitt struggle to keep on living and dealing with all the people around him, we are struggling to, to watch and to keep hoping for the best for him.

 

OVERALL**** this is a strong film with some incredible performances, worth a watch if you can bring yourself to do it but enjoy the laughs while there are being told as they are the lifelines in this struggle.

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