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Oscar’s Oddball

Oscar’s Oddball
What an oddball of a film. A classic example of what brilliant acting could do to a two-line script. Mind you, it doesn’t really step away from the clichés – the hero, for instance, still runs after the heroine in the climax, suddenly confident in his love for her (and hers for him), and, of course, prodded by his father to not to let go of the ‘real’ one. But then again, it did take a big step away from the regular Hollywood romance. It’s as dysfunctional as it could get.

The thing is, when a film straddles both brilliant and ordinary moments, where exactly can one slot it? So I am just going to whinge a bit and let you decide. With or without those eight Oscar nominations, it’s worth a watch, I can assure you that much. The characters are having a romp living their neuroses they are supposed to portray. Jennifer Lawrence keeps Tiffany so real that we could never really love her the way we do the screen goddesses. Bradley Cooper plays Pat so convincingly that we want to join the neighbours and complain when he throws his tantrums. Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver breeze effortlessly through their concerned parents routine, adding their brand of twists to this oddball story.

Whinge number one: Anupam Kher and his big Hollywood break. Wish someone else played that part – his character has tinges of the time when the world discovered Miss Worlds and Miss Universes in Indian women, conveniently when India split herself open for foreign trade. Hollywood is clearly leaving no marketing stone unturned. Kher starts off so very Hollywoodish, playing a very restrained psychiatrist. But when he steps off that bus in his football jersey, it’s Kher ala Bollywood.

Whinge number two: You could tell that Tiffany has a thing for Pat, but Pat’s realisation comes out of the blue and takes the fizz out of his character.

Whinge number three: the climax. Why would someone take an effort to think different only to go the same route?
Jemima Raman

Jemima Raman

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