Punch Drunk Love is a very eccentric and disturbingly funny kind of romantic comedy-drama film that is all about the great efforts done by Barry Egan to help himself, in the midst of people who make his life a living hell, survive and cope with the different kinds of conflicts that hinder him from becoming truly appreciated, happy and accepted.
Here in this movie, the character of Barry Egan is very aggravated, puzzled, and miserable on the way he perceives himself in an unfamiliar and unwelcoming world that he’s living in and being a part of. His sisters verbally assault him, emotionally scars him, not minding him getting all awkward, humiliated, and unaccepted. This, being done for years since their childhood, prompted him to retaliate violently with great fits of rage. But all he wants is a normal family with very supporting loved ones who sees him not as a nuisance and someone to laugh on but someone who needs to be taken care of.
He starts to look for people to share his emotions, his problems, his desires to but having to end up being misunderstood and being greatly disappointed. Here, it’s actually difficult to pick up the pieces of yourself and learn to trust other people again; like the dentist who is a husband of one of Barry’s annoying sisters whom he actually thought can help him find a psychiatrist or someone to make as an outlet of his frustrations, but then he surprisingly ended up sharing Barry’s emotional problems to his sister, therefore having Barry being further labeled as weird and disturbed; and the phone-sex hotline which is both very sad and pathetic since it shows Barry’s desperate attempt to find an outlet for his feelings but ending up having taken advantage by the scam, making his life further miserable. They all added insult to Barry’s injured and battered self.
All this time, all he wants is to feel accepted, and he finds that in the character of Lena who is deeply in love, concerned, and interested to be eternally together with Barry Egan. Lena is somehow the light, the source of inspiration, and meaning to the life of Barry. She gives him a purpose of direction in his life, even quite literally to the point of Barry, asking Lena to allow himself being a part of her life and joiner her in her travels in different parts of the world.
What I really appreciated in the film is the very optimistic approach in the midst of disturbingly awkward scenes. Through the use of lights, colors, texture, music and certain elements in the film such as symbolisms, you can feel the mood, tone, and the whole drama in the scenes of the film as we follow the struggles to the successes of Barry Egan.
What I like about the film, aside from having my favorite actor Adam Sandler starring it, it how it was beautifully narrated and executed. I very much appreciated the beauty of the film because it was carefully crafted and planned, from the plot, to the actors, to the elements, and all the drama.