The eccentric team of ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ and ‘American Hustle’ is back with ‘Joy’. Director David O. Russell presents a semi fictional story of a woman who became an overnight success with an invention of hers.
The path to success is often paved with challenges and obstacles. While professional hurdles were aplenty, it was her family who created drama which was difficult to digest.
Spanning four generations, it’s the story of Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), her parents, grand mother, sibling, husband, friends and children. It is a very trying film to watch, with constant pressure on the protagonist and tension on her life and work. You physically feel the stress mounting as the film goes on.
Jennifer gives another startling performance at the age of 25. She handles difficult scenes with ease and communicates the void she experiences, where only she can save herself. Robert De Niro is her supportive father who himself needs support most of the time. Virginia Madsen plays her soap opera obsessed mother who doesn’t face her reality, choosing to hide behind the convoluted never ending story lines on television. Diane Ladd plays her strong, prophetic grandmother who also narrates the story. Edgar Ramirez plays her ex-husband and good friend, while Bradley Cooper (whose appearance on screen got a collective sigh from the audience) Elisabeth Rohm and Dascha Polanco ably support the proceedings. Isabella Rossellini is the surprise element, a sugar coated, selfish opportunist who represents many people of the modern world.
Metaphorical for ‘cleaning up your life’, Joy is not only her name but the feeling you get when you do the right thing and get rewards. When you speak the truth and stick to it, for ‘truth will always out’. When you face the difficult people and situations in your life with patience and silence and emerge triumphant.
A dose of reality served with love and support from unexpected corners. Much like life.