A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating.
Writers: Kyle Killen
Director: Jodie Foster
Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and Anton Yelchin
Runtime: 91 Minutes
Popcorn Score: Medium Popcorn
The Beaver is a very interesting film. I would be lying if I didn’t say that it sent me on a emotional ride. I wasn’t crying or anything at any point but I was laughing one minute and then ten later I was totally depressed.
The movie revolves around a once family man named Walter Black who is not suffering from depression. Walter hits bottom and spends all of his time either sleeping or in solitude. He isolates himself from his family and his job, which is running a predominate toy company. His wife finally kicks him out and shortly after during his drunken attempt at a suicide on the balcony of his hotel room he is mysteriously drug back into his room by a beaver on his left hand. Upon waking up, he is introduced to “the Beaver” – a puppet Walter had found in the trash and put on his hand during his drinking binge – who suddenly speaks to him, in an Australian accent. With the help of the Beaver Walter gets a new lease on life and returns home with dramatic results.
This yields, surprisingly, some pretty good comedy carried by Mel Gibson, who performs like a star in this film, and by some pretty good writing.
The other story in the movie revolves around Walter’s son played by Anton Yelchin (Charlie Bartlett) and his paper writing business for his classmates in high school. The valedictorian and head cheer leader played by Jennifer Lawrence (Winters Bone) hires him to write her Graduation speech and through that connection they build a relationship that fills time in film and doesn’t really add a ton.
The Beaver has a very dark tone once you realize how depressed and crazy the lead character Walter is, and how hard he is making life for his family as well. It carries you through with some very honest laughs at times and a very good not amazing performance by Mel Gibson but is nothing that you need to rush out and rent. I got it in the Red Box for $.99 and I would say grab it if you’re already in front of a machine looking for a movie and you can find anything else.