Punch Drunk Loneliness

25 May

Adam Sandler stars in this dark romantic comedy that somehow goes beyond its genre with some fight scenes and a psychological element. He plays Barry Egan, a small business owner trying to do his job despite the amount of bothering he gets from his seven sisters. It has the makings of a quirky and funny movie that would make the audience feel good at the end. Instead what the film delivers is a rather disturbing depiction of the dreariness of everyday life and how we do things to chase what we want regardless of the possibility of failure.

The lighting in the film is dim and the sets were under lit probably an indication of the darkness that surrounds Adam Sandler’s character. Overwhelmed by his sisters’ inconsideration for him, Barry Egan retreats to his solitary living. Human nature rejects this kind of isolation and so no one can judge for calling a phone sex line. This need for companionship is necessary to share life moments and make them more meaningful. There are many times when people feel this way and they try their best to come out of the rut that they found themselves in.

A string of troubles and mishaps follow him around after the phone sex line operator calls him up to ask him for his money. We can see that Barry Egan is passive aggressive as his rage and frustration are expressed in the most inopportune times. They come out in rapid and violent bursts that contradict his usual calm and patient self. His impulsiveness comes out when he chases the girl he loves. The basic need for love drives him to fly out and meet her in Hawaii. This film is one about human nature and the needs of sentient beings. There are many lonely people in the world out there and they are all in need to watch this movie about finding the right one who will accept every facet of the person.

In some scenes, leaks of blue light could be seen line across the scene. This interesting use of cinematography added touches of emotion into the story. These light leaks can be seen at the most pivotal moments of Barry’s life. Somehow, it felt as if his emotions were boiling over and spilling into the shot. The immensity of what he felt must have been that overpowering that there was a need for it to be tangible.

Some transitions from one setting to the next had some muffled talking over an array of mixed colours. Dazed, a film viewer could be confused at this seemingly arbitrary part. I found it quite clever the way they did this because it seems as if the viewer is as lost as Egan’s character. There was a constant desire to find a way out of the uncertainties but while you’re there might as well add colour to it despite the chaos it adds.

The films charms the viewers with the grittiness and real-ness it presents. There are no fantastic moments that would make you wish for a Prince Charming because Egan’s life is no fairy tale. He takes life as it comes and holds on to the rare love that he’s found.

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Posted by on 25 May 2011 in Uncategorized


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