REVIEW: 50/50

To begin with, 50/50 perhaps became the strangest and most forbidden motion picture to date due to the eccentric mixture of the emotional suffering and frequently deadly disease of cancer and the laughs and joys of comedy. However, considering this is a very unorthodox combination and will effect it’s audiences in a variety of ways, it turned out to be an absolutely fantastic film that is both deeply inspiring and has plenty of laughs! In fact, there perhaps will not be a more inspiring film than 50/50 in 2011 as it is genuinely a friendly comfort for cancer victims and their friends and family.

As far as the style of comedy is concerned, there were perhaps a few particular moments within the film that were aiming to be a joke, such as when talking about Patrick Swayze and his condition which is humour at its lowest although there are some people who would chuckle at that or will become deeply affected by it. So, at the same time of being a light-hearted comedy, it is quite a dark one as well.

Originally, James McAvoy was the number one choice for the role of Adam, but due to personal difficulties, blossoming actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt replaced him. Gordon-Levitt who previously appeared in romantic-comedy (500) Days Of Summer for which he received a Golden Globe nomination and in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, goes into a role where there was perhaps a lot on his shoulders as he plays a young cancer victim who is in deep desire to cure his condition but to also try and live life to the maximum if he’s not got long left. There are so many young people around the world are like this and as a result, Gordon-Levitt provided a performance to remember! Seth Rogen could quite easily have been the poison, so to speak, of the film that could have totally killed its tender and personal message but Rogen provides a performance that is beyond anything that he’s ever done. Of course, he was adding the humour and liveliness of the film and often feels familiarised by his performance in Knocked Up. So his performance in 50/50 is quite possibly his most serious role since then.

Anna Kendrick stars as young psychology student Katherine “Katie” McCay and like Gordon-Levitt; she is becoming a young shining star in the world of Hollywood. Kendrick’s characteristics provide an innocent and very cute nature to Katie which is what Adam really needs at this difficult time. The relationship between the two is very sweet but at the same time, it’s forbidden in a film like this because it is aiming to be more about a young man’s journey with cancer rather than a love story. Bryce Dallas Howard makes a short supporting appearance also as Rachael, Adam’s girlfriend and delivers a good performance too.

Jonathan Levine needed his breakthrough film throughout his 5 feature films that he has worked on so far, and he has managed to achieve this and delivers a film that is mixed of balanced emotion. We have previously seen films involving medical conditions of a protagonist and their struggle to deal with it in order to survive (e.g. Philadelphia by Jonathan Demme in 1993 starring Tom Hanks). Nevertheless, 50/50 and Adam’s condition and friendship with Kyle is based upon the screenwriter of the film, Will Reiser, who was diagnosed with cancer in his early 20s and was almost like a best friend to Seth Rogen himself at the time. So, for Rogen, it’s happening all over again and to be able to act as well as co-produce the film, and for Reiser to write the screenplay of his own story is beyond inspiration and that takes real courage! He balances it to be as friendly as possible as well as being as serious as possible without it being too depressing. So, as a result, Reiser rightfully deserves an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Overall, 50/50 is a genuinely heartfelt and funny motion picture that will bring tears to your eyes but will make you laugh at the same time. Having said that the film can be rather sensitive and affectionate to its target audience, which happens to be everybody, it is a beautifully crafted story that expresses reality and the heart-breaking emotions from the victims of cancer and the people around them. Plus, it could lead you to tears but it will leave you at the end with a grin on your face, it’ll make you feel uplifted by the story and will aid you at looking and understanding cancer from a whole new perspective.


~ by SJMJ91 on 15/05/2012.

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