Friday, April 24, 2009

Box Office Review - The Soloist

Delayed since November of last year, we finally get see Joe Wright’s follow up to 2007s Atonement. The story is fairly simple, but it is done in an unstructured and bizarre way. I want to give Wright credit and say that he did this on purpose. The film follows the relationship of Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr) a reporter and Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx) a homeless schizophrenic musician. It will flashback at certain moments and then come back to the present unexpectedly. There is a scene where Ayers and Lopez are watching an orchestra practice and after a close-up on Ayers face, the scene changes to flashing colors on the screen while the orchestra continues to play. I feel the director Wright is telling the story through the eyes of a person suffering from schizophrenia. A description of schizophrenia is abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality. I am assuming that the story jumping around so much, as well as not focusing on any of the characters was meant for the audience to experience what Nathaniel Ayers lives with. This did not occur to me until half way through the film, and up till then I was ready to write the film off. Robert Downey Jr and Jamie Foxx were well cast, and the relationship was a fascinating one. It is interesting in the way that their friendship develops. As with many movies about friendship there is a period in the film where something happens that splits up the relationship. The standard thing would be for each character to compromises to make the friendship work. In this Downey has to realise that Foxx’s character has issues that he can’t control, and he is the one that will have to put in all the work. The film is a realistic portrayal of someone living with schizophrenia and the issues that those around them have to deal with. (Look for Jena Malone in a minuscule role as a nurse)

A Good Banana

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