Tuesday 7 December 2010

THE BEAVER trailer review

Tut, tut. Mel Gibson's been a naughty boy recently if the tabloids are to be believed. He's certainly in need of a serious hit if he wants to continue his acting career and deflect some attention away from his recent 'outburts'. Perhaps this bizarre story can offer him sort of cinematic redemption?

Firstly, let me make it clear that I do not in any way condone or endorse the things Mel Gibson's been caught saying to his wife/girlfriend/arresting officer. They may be impressively vulgar statements, but they're the words of an arrogant fool. However, I do think that star's private lives should have some separation from their big screen work, otherwise we're going to end up watching 'faux-reality docu-soap re-enactments of things that might not have really happened, but we'll say they did for dramatic effect' in the cinema soon.

Now, onto this film. As you'd imagine, this tale of a broken man going through a mid-life crisis and saying some stupid things has been mentioned a fair bit over the last year, as it sounded like a ridiculous concept for a film, showing Mel had gone a bit mad by signing on for it. The script for The Beaver was actually on 2008's black list (a list of the year's best unproduced screenplays), so obviously showed some promise. But then, that year's list also included the script for Kevin Smith's stinker Cop Out, so it's not always a guaranteed winner.

Tired of his regular life, Walter finds a raggedy old hand puppet in a dumpster, and decides to use it as the mouthpiece for his internal frustrations. The Beaver (complete with a peculiar Ray Winstone-y accent delivered by Mel), starts to take over all aspects of Walter's life, and may help him to reconnect with his estranged wife (played by the director, Jodie Foster). His angsty son (Anton Yelchin) is far from pleased with his dad's new friend, and just wants him out of his life.

Far from the screwball comedy some were expecting, the film The Beaver seems to have the most in common with is Mrs Doubtfire. Okay, so there's no cross dressing to 'Dude Looks Like a Lady', but both films show a desperate man using a mediator to reconnect with their own family. He gets back into the family home and is able to spend time with his kids again; all the things he should have been doing this whole time.

I for one hope this film does see the light of day (there have been rumours of a permanent delay), as there's more talent on show than just Mel. Anton Yelchin and Jodie Foster appear to have put some good performances in, and I'm keen to see Jennifer Lawrence in another role after impressing so much in this year's Winter's Bone.

The Beaver appears to show a laid back, melancholic and bittersweet look at life. Perhaps Mel needs to see this film himself.

Due February 2011
Anticipation Level

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