It got quiet with Mel Gibson. After that strange telephone call thing that got through all the media it seemed he took a time out. Looks like he got some problems but to hell with it… we all have our problems. Only difference is that we don’t have psychos who record our phonecalls. Now this movie ‘The Beaver’ was the first one Gibson was in after the media buzz the phone thing caused. A movie directed by Jodie Foster who also plays one of the main characters in the movie. She’s also a good friend of Gibson and may have thought “lets give him another chance!”. That’s what friends do and she did not get disappointed for sure.
The movie is about a Walter Black (Mel Gibson) who is the manager and head of a toy company that is sort of on a downward spiral. Right from the beginning of the film we notice that he’s not on top of his game and it feels and looks like a big depression. We see how everything slips out of his hands. First his job, then family and last but not least his own life. When he tries to kill himself some switch gets on and suddenly a handpuppet of a beaver starts talking to him. Now the puppet on his arm he starts to climb out of this big hole of a depression he’s in. Sometimes we all need someone who seriously kicks our ass to make us understand or do something. For Walter it’s this puppet. Walter doesn’t really understand what is happening but we as the audience can see how the puppet is helping him finding back on track again. While we watch him getting back in contact with his family and job we also notice that the puppet cannot be the ultimate solution. At some point the puppet has to go away. We also notice that it me require some heavy measures really get rid of it.
The movie not only shows what Walter has to go through. It also shows how a family can go down because of all the things a depression comes with. Walter’s son, played very awesome by Anton Yelchin, has the most problems handling the situation. He lives in constant fear that he might become too much like his father. He also doesn’t understand the whole thing with the beaver and distances himself even more from Walter. Now there is a younger son too. He of course has no problems with the beaver. He easily finds a connection to his dad again through this puppet. Walter’s wife (Jodie Foster) is happy about how things slowly get back to normal. But she can also see that if this puppet thing continues… things will fall apart again. And who knows if there is a second chance. Jodie Foster’s performance works really well since she manages it to make all the inner conflicts visible.
So what does the movie want to tell us here? Yes, depression is quite a serious subject. The movie tries to make the audience understand that it can be a very complicated dealing with these things. All the things with the beaver is a little weird but, at least for me, understandable. I think when you’re in a situation like this one you try to hold on every little thing that might help you to get out of that mess. So is the movie a success for what it wants to be? I think yes.
Mel Gibson. Well… start to give that guy jobs again! Please! He is a good, very good, actor. He may have a complicated private life but hell… who are we to judge that? That’s not our business. We as an audience should only judge Mel Gibson for what we see in his movies. May it be as an actor or director. I love both roles of him. He can create quite some epic movies. And yes, I say ‘Passion of the Christ’ is an underrated and misunderstood movie. But that’s a review I still have to write some time. Anyway… I can see Mr. Gibson as a new Clint Eastwood. He’s a champ in both disciplines.
So yeah… final words… well… sometimes it literally needs a clear cut to solve some personal problems.