Saturday, February 18, 2012

50/50

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick
Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston


"It takes a pair to beat the Odds"





Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon Levitt), a radio producer is only 27 years old when he is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. But instead of going crazy by embarking on things on his bucket list (in fact, I believe he doesn't even have one), he remains calm and collected throughout his ordeal. But naturally he is quite distraught.

Adam who is pretty much a loner does have a support group albeit they are a select few. His irresponsibly wacky but very loyal friend named Kyle is played by comedian Seth Rogen. Kyle is the exact opposite of Adam that you can't help but wonder how they became friends in the first place.

His indifferent girlfriend Rachel (Bryce Dallas Howard) bails out on him but in all fairness to her, Adam did give her a chance to back out but she out of pity stayed on until it was evident enough, she couldn't handle it.

His father who is battling Alzheimer's often doesn't know who he is. While his mother (the superb Anjelica Huston) wants to take care of him but Adam (like most guys) fends her off. But it is more out of concern since she has enough on her plate dealing with a husband facing dementia.

In the midst of his battle with the big C, he finds romance in the most unexpected places with his hospital assigned newly minted therapist Katherine (Anna Kendrick). Her inexperience in her chosen field is quite endearing as it brings about a certain gentleness without crossing the fine line of propriety that exists between a doctor and a patient.

Gordon-Levitt is perfect for the role as he turns depression and despair into comedy of the edgiest kind, while making his character all the more sympathetic for his occasional outbursts of anger and aggression.

There are several points in the movie when you expect the story to turn into a sappy tearjerker but fortunately "50/50" pulls back, and sides with unvarnished truth.

This gem of a movie works entirely due to the way it handles death. As seen through the sparkling eyes of Adam, death is not to be feared but neither is it something to brush off, flippantly.

A movie handled with this kind of care is a rare gift as it refuses to hide from pain or bow to it, it will certainly get to you and pull at your heartstrings.

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