Destruction, Devastation – Demolition.

Odeon Screen Unseen running since 2014. It has shown an incredibly varied film line-up in it’s relatively short life span. From Oscar winners such as; The Revenant, Whiplash and Inside Out. To those that garner mixed reviews such as Disorder and It Follows.
This past Monday’s offering was the new Jake Gyllenhaal starring, Jean-Marc Vallée directing; Demolition.

Gyllenhaal plays Davis Mitchell, a man who tragically loses his wife in a car accident and has a complete re-evaluation of his marriage, his life and everything in it.
It’s a film that manages to break your heart and warm it at the same time. It uses humour to help make light of a sad situation and encourage the viewer to realise even grief can have small breaks within.

The film, in my humble opinion, is well paced; bringing hard emotional realisations next to light hearted fun. It is cut brilliantly, contrasted the conflicting emotions in the head of a man struggling to grieve for a wife he didn’t know how to love, or even if he did.
Vallée is known for bringing highly emotional subjects to screen, and he does it beautifully. Demolition carries weight, for it is an experience anyone of us could go through and the thought of that is terrifying. He showcases raw, honest emotion that can make for uncomfortable truths that the best of us don’t like to admit. However, due to the contrast nature of the film it doesn’t let you dwell on that for too long, thus not impacting your viewing experience by making you question it.

I felt the film was, in large, very much pushed along by Jake Gyllenhaal’s standout performance. It just gathered momentum as the film went on. He was poignant and thought provoking and truly drew a sense of question from the audience. How does this man really feel? It is the whole driving force of the movie – how do we really feel about those closest to us?
Naomi Watts put in a decent performance, she played a pot-head mother who had also lost her way in life. I, was very much surprised that I found her character believable and a whole lot of fun in a movie with some dark undertones.
Also, putting in a standout performance was, Judah Lewis. He played Naomi Watt’s son Chris, at 15 he is a reaching a conflicting time in his life, where he also begins to question everything, much like Gyllenhaal’s character. The contrast between them is refreshing as it showcases no matter what age you are, you will not escape the questions that have plagued you since puberty.

It is the sense that this film didn’t really know what it wanted to be. It was in some places a comedy, in some places a drama. It was a dramedy, shall we say? It was going for poignant, it was going for some weird silver-lined cloud and yet very much hit nearly every cliché in the book. This is not to say it impacted my viewing of the film – at the time I was very engrossed. Yet, upon reflection it leaves you slightly – well definitely me anyhow – confused.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and it’s cinematic experience, the screening I was in all seemed to fully involve themselves and we all found ourselves laughing at the same points, which always make the viewing that much more gratifying.

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