When Pat is released from a psychiatric hospital after eight months of treatment, he is determined to win back the affection of his estranged wife, Nikki. The trouble is, he ended up in the hospital after violently attacking the local high school history teacher – after discovering him in the shower with Nikki. Nikki now holds a restraining order against him, and has hired the police to make sure it stays in place.
Diagnosed with bipolar disorder while in treatment, Pat begins refusing medication and is determined to cure himself so that Nikki will want him back. His new psychiatrist, Dr. Patel, encourages Pat to continue with his “excelsior” philosophy, that of finding a silver lining in every situation.
And then he meets Tiffany. The slightly crazy sister-in-law of his best friend. Tiffany who is emotional and always there, and just might be the change he needs.
Throw in a father obsessed with the Philadelphia Eagles, and who believes Pat is his good luck charm, a bit of gambling, some soul searching, and a whole lot of dancing, and you have two hours of cinematic brilliance.
Silver Linings Playbook is a heartwarming, yet at times heartbreaking, examination of mental illness and family ties. From the relationship between husband and wife, to that of father and son, to that of the bond shared between friends, Silver Linings Playbook makes you reexamine the relationships you have in your own life.
What makes the film stand out is that it is not a typical love story. It is blunt. It is painful. It is raw, and honest, and just like real life. It is not a glossy hollywood story. It could be anybody’s story. And to me, that’s why it is so worthy of all its award nominations and victories. It reflects humanity in it’s 100% brokenness, something which is far too rare in films these days.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence shine in their roles, but the whole cast is absolutely spectacular.
It is a film, that while difficult to watch at times, is one that could be enjoyed by everybody, because it is so relatable. Even if you have not experienced the pain of mental illness, the underlying themes are universally true to all humans.
Let’s face it, we could all use a little “excelsior” in our lives.
Silver Linings Playbook is out now at all Australian cinemas.
frangipani princess xoxo