Back in Gear for a New Year: Movie Recommendation

Now that I’m back, after a long holiday recess, I wanted to share with you a movie that I saw during that time: Silver Linings Playbook. (I confess I try to go solo to a matinee on Friday afternoons; it’s escapism with a capital “e”.) In the movie, the actors and actresses were indeed fine, but what really struck me about the film is that in many ways, in many scenes, it made me think of Light Fixtures.

After all, both the novel and the movie feature protagonists who are dealing with the onset of bipolar disorder.
What their stories also share is that they’re not focused on doom and gloom. Thirty-something Pat (actor Bradley Cooper) in Silver Linings Playbook and teenager Aurora in Light Fixtures begin their stories with full-blown mania. The film handled Pat’s mania authentically, showing, as Aurora’s mania is described in the book: “Everything was moving fast…with very rapid thoughts, words, and action.”

Catching my attention as well was the movie’s solid depiction of how bipolar affects close relationships. Pat’s parents were always on guard around him, not quite sure how to react to him. With the scene where he wakes his parents up in the middle of the night (good portrayal of his not sleeping, a mania byproduct) to ask where something was – then going on and on how he had to have that something to finish a “brilliant” plan he’d come up with – you could see this had not been the first time this had happened and his parents were weary. Yet, those very manic actions will later on draw to him a new, close friend.

Like Pat, a very manic Aurora in Light Fixtures gets only a few hours of sleep at night, often not any, and roams the woods – via guidance from a dragonfly – in search of a new friend whom she believes has special knowledge. And he does.

In conclusion, both the book Light Fixtures and the movie Silver Linings Playbook offer a well-rounded story, as both Aurora and Pat strive to come to terms with themselves and life. I recommend you check them both out. Their stories that remind you that life is full of ups and downs — and that can be a good thing.

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