Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Beaver (2011)

Walter Black (Mel Gibson) is a depressed and broken man, who was some serious mental problems. Walter has hit rock bottom, but he finds some solace in a stuffed beaver hand puppet. The talking beaver puppet helps Walter get back on his feet, and he slowly begins to bond with his family again. Meredith (Walter’s wife) wants to believe in Walter’s new found happiness, but she has trouble accepting his new best friend (the beaver). Porter (Walter’s oldest son) despises Walter, and he doesn’t want his father to be apart of his life anymore. Henry (Walter’s youngest son) is the only one, who fully accepts his dad and the beaver, but he is too young, so he really doesn’t understand the serious nature of the situation. The beaver gives Walter an unexpected resurrection, but Meredith (Jodie Foster) and Porter (Anton Yelchin) eventually grow tired of the loveable talking hand puppet, and everything takes a turn for the worst.

The Beaver does get off to a slow start, but this film does get better, as time progresses. The Beaver is an emotional drama, and the acting in this film is very solid. Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, and Jennifer Lawrence did deliver some very believable and enjoyable performances. And Mel Gibson was fantastic as the lead here. Walter was a depressed and lonely man, who wanted to give up on life. He didn’t want to live anymore, and his oldest son hated him. Meredith tries to help him, but Walter would rather live a miserable and lonely life filled with delusions, as he talks through the stuffed beaver puppet. The Walter character is someone who I could feel for, I wanted to root for him, and Mel Gibson really did a good job of showing some raw emotions here. The Walter character was the highlight of this film, and Gibson’s performance helped take everything to the next level.

The Beaver can feel very predictable at times, and the happy ending did feel kind of cheesy, but I still enjoyed this film. The Beaver is an emotional drama, this film featured a good amount of characters, who I wanted to care about, and this film is loaded with some very solid acting. Some people might have a problem with Mel Gibson and the talking beaver puppet here. I will admit, it DOES take some time to get use to Mel and his beaver friend, and the scenes, where Mel talks through the beaver puppet can feel silly at times, but the Walter character was a man, who had lost his mind. He was depressed, and the talking beaver helped him deal with real life, so in a way, the talking beaver puppet does make sense. Also, I thought they did a good job of balancing the humor and serious moments here. Gibson’s character talks through a beaver puppet for the majority of this film, so of course, Mel and the talking beaver can provide some unintentionally funny moments (for obvious reasons). When Mel was talking through the beaver in the early moments of this film, I had this “Really??? You can’t be serious!” feeling, but my feelings would quickly change, and I would start thinking “Whoa. This guy needs some serious help.” The Beaver is able to draw the line between drama and comedy, and the timing in this film was pretty good, because The Beaver always shifts gears at the right moment. The beaver puppet is a big deal here, but IF you can tolerate and accept Mel and the talking beaver, this CAN be an enjoyable film. But if you can’t stand the many scenes with the talking beaver, you’ll probably hate this film, and you’ll probably think The Beaver is one ridiculous piece of shit.

This film has received mixed reviews, but The Beaver really isn’t a bad film at all. It’s a shame, but this film probably won’t receive favorable praise from the mainstream world, and The Beaver will be buried on a list of forgettable films in 2011. Mel Gibson should receive another chance, because he is still a talented director and actor, but his recent psychotic tirades have put him on the black list, and I really hope he can make a comeback someday, because Edge Of Darkness and The Beaver are good films. These films deserve a more positive spotlight, but both films can’t escape the dark shadow of Mel’s tirades.

Final Rating: 7/10

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