Having been told that the movie falls under the romantic comedy genre, I was all set and excited to indulge in a light, predictable and cheesy film. The fact that Adam Sandler plays the leading man also made me expect that Punch Drunk Love would somewhat be similar to his other movies which fall under the same category: Mr. Deeds, Just Go With It, 50 First Dates, etc. After seeing the film, I didn’t really get the same feeling I usually do as I would with his other shallow – and yet totally entertaining movies. Perhaps I just got used to him playing roles which can go from dorky to weird, or sometimes even moronic. Then again, Punch Drunk Love utilized Adam Sandler’s mastery in playing such humorous roles. A mentally disturbed businessman who falls MADLY in love with a seemingly sane and normal woman. I wasn’t really surprised with such a role. After all, he has played far more ridiculous roles than that. I really do think, though, that the level of crazy is different with this one. It not only felt heavy and disturbed, but it also made me question the fact of it being a romantic comedy.
Yes, it was indeed romantic. The ending, plus all the cheesy and touchy-feely bits and pieces support that. It was comedic, for sure, but in a very dark and more often than not, even pathetic way. There were times wherein I could not believe how pathetic the Barry Egan character was becoming — and that’s not saying that he wasn’t from the very start. It’s just really one of those FML moments where you just can’t help but laugh, even at the expense of others, because of shock or disbelief.
The overall mood seemed dull especially since the colors were muted. The mixture of these elements of course is very effective in making the viewer feel…”EH”. I really appreciate the fact that they used the weakness of it all to make the main characters pop out. The strong blue and red brought a little bit of life into the movie, apart from expressing the personalities of the two main characters. The colorful transitions, which I found really unfit for the movie at first, now seem like a great contrast to the gloomy visuals. They also show both motion and emotion, which does not really come to mind as one is watching the movie. Only after the class discussion on the topic did I consider the idea. What really caught my attention were the lens flares which at first I thought I was just making such a big deal about. I think that the addition of such an element is vital in emphasizing the emotions in such a seemingly flat visual. These random beams of light were also unexpected. If someone were to watch the film over and over and should/he or she pay attention to the bluish light, I’m sure that in time, they’ll be able to patch the pieces together and find out what the random beams of blue light signify.
All-in-all, I can say that I do consider the film as one which could fall under the romantic comedy genre. There might be a lot of things happening simultaneously in the movie, and sometimes it may seem that other themes stand out more than others (which led me to question the real genre); nonetheless, these are the things that bring out the bigger picture. I guess I just have to accept the fact that it’s not the romantic comedy that I’m used to. In the end, I’m happy to know that no matter how chaotic and totally psychotic the story is, I can still look forward to that very cheesy happy ending.