Thursday, August 22, 2013

Punch-Drunk Love

Year: 2002 | Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson | Roundup Rating: A

Paul Thomas Anderson never cease to amazed me. He is truly one of the  best living filmmakers around and definitely one of my top favorites.  I've been wanting to see Punch-Drunk Love for ages but I never got the  chance...until now. Punch-Drunk Love is a romantic film, and if you're  a fan of PT Anderson you would know that it doesn't always happen in  his repertoire. Basically the subject of loneliness, alienation and  the craving for human contact is there, which is a recurring theme in  his films. 

Adam Sandler's character, Barry Egan, has seven doting and  emasculating sisters; he is self-sufficient, runs and owns his own  company but remains to be relationship less at his age. Although he  appears to be a nice guy he has some problems with aggression. When he  gets angry over something he loses control and he trashes things  around him. Sandler is famous for being a comedic actor. He made his  career from being funny, but this movie  was able to showcased his  various acting skills. I actually got carried away with the scene  where he was talking to his brother in-law pleading him to get him a  psychiatrist because he is really lonely. In my opinion, he was that  desperate to have someone to talk to, to the point of phoning a sex  hotline just to have some faceless bimbo listen to him for once.

It is strange for me to be watching this film at this particular moment of my life because not only I could relate to Adam Sandler's  character but I know exactly how it feels to be lonely like him. It's  frustrating to crave for attention, especially if you've been on that  path for a really long time. You just want to scream to the world,  "okay, I'm exhausted can somebody please help me out of here!" But  nobody really listens, nobody gives a damn, especially if they find  you useless in their lives. When Barry Egan was running for his life  because some crooks is after his money it rings a bell to me how sad  when the only people chasing after you are from rip off companies,  petty thieves and credit card collectors. Sometimes you can't help the  desire (of wanting) to kill yourself. After all, human beings are  engineered to love and be loved. How can you have that basic desire if  nobody, not even a single soul, cares for you. So Barry starts to buy  these grocery food items from Healthy Choices in order to collect  frequent flier miles so he could travel the world. He is tired of  being lonely so he felt the need to stop living with himself by being  somewhere else far away from his obnoxious family. 

The silver lining of the story is the arrival of Lena (Emily Watson).  She is a strange girl, with a strange taste. And she likes him a lot  despite of what his sisters said about him. In my opinion, that's the  whole thing about attraction. You see something special about someone  and it may not be a shared point of view, but it doesn't really matter  as long as you are satisfied. In a world full of people chances are we  would find someone (equally strange) who would love and accept us for who we are. I think that's the whole thing about this movie, although  there's nothing really poetic about it, but the realistic touch of the  story is really beautiful and deep. We are carried into life not  removed from it. Through Lena we saw the importance of going after what we want and just seizing the moment. If she did not gave him her number or made the first move nothing will happen. So it's important to take our chances when it's right there in front of us and if we let it go we are also letting go of our own opportunity to be happy. 

If you've never seen any movie by Paul Thomas Anderson it is best to  start with Punch-Drunk Love because comedy and romance is easier to  take in, especially if you are not that adept to characters that are  dark and bitter. This is a really good film and it's totally different from his previous and later works. What more can I say, I'm a fan. 

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