The Beaver (2011)

 There are so many things I would like to say about this film that it might end as … a short story! Jodie Foster made (once more) an amazing movie pointing out numerous aspects of each film character. The central character is of course Walter Black (Mel Gibson) and … the beaver (Mel Gibson also!). As the beaver narrates during the first two minutes of the movie:

This is a picture of Walter Black, a hopelessly depressed individual. Somewhere inside him is a man who fell in love, who started a family…, who ran a successful company… That man has gone missing. No matter what he’s tried, – and he’s tried everything – Walter can’t seem to bring him back. It’s as if he’s died but hasn’t had the good sense to take his body with him. So, mostly, what he does is sleep. Shares in his father’s once-proud toy company are now almost as worthless as Walter feels. His family used to resemble something  but now seems to be in perpetual mourning. Henry, his youngest, has become what his teachers call “solitary”. He’d like to become invisible one day instead of merely unnoticed by his own father. And, Porter, his eldest? Well, he’s terrified of becoming just like his father. His mission? To catalog every dreaded similarity that links them. Every lip bite. Every neck crack. He plans to erase them one by one. His wife, Meredith, has hidden herself behind her engineering work and nighttime conference calls to Tokyo and rollercoaster designs. Anything to drown out the reality of an absent husband. Walter’s depression is an ink that stains everything it touches. A black hole that swallows all who get near. They’ve all been waiting for him to wake up, to snap out of it, but he hasn’t. So, Meredith does the only thing left to do and says the only thing left to say. Goodbye.

Every scene has a purpose, a meaning, a light into the puzzle of human relationships, family relationships, the true self we hide (sometimes) elaborately within. A brilliant conception, original, comforting that uses a central theme to elaborate on many more.

Mel Gibson gives the performance of his life, Jodie Foster is as always excellent,and what is surprising is that all actors play so naturally that you forget you are watching a movie, including the six year old Henry (Riley Thomas Stewart)!

A film that you should NOT miss!

My rating: 10/10