An adult man wears a beaver puppet on his hand, and talks through it during the whole film. That may sound like a comedy, but despite the premise of its script, director Jodie Foster makes the crazy, believable, and presents a tale about growing up and overcoming, and about people who are afraid of disappointing their families. She bravely defends this strange story and transforms it into a touching drama about Walter Black (Mel Gibson), a man who sees how his life has become as dark as his own surname.
The beaver breathes and talks itself, shifting from a lovely and adorable marionette into an evil and sinister character.
Some might say the story is senseless, but think of Walter as a deeply sick man. Not only does he suffer from depression, but also multiple personality disorder; he needs to kill a part of himself to begin again. The beaver itself, much like Walter’s symptoms, may start as a joke, but is serious. Gibson, both pathetic and funny, is great as “Walter the beaver”, insufflating life into this hand-puppet. The beaver breathes and talks to itself, shifting from a lovely and adorable marionette into an evil and sinister character. Walter finds in the beaver a way to exorcize his fears and troubles, as Norah (Jennifer Lawrence) finds the same in Walter’s son, Porter (Anton Yelchin).
All the characters need the beaver, someone who tells the truth for them, because their feelings are corseted and they can not express them. In these days of technologic innovation and social networks, this is also a story about isolation, about the inability to express ourselves, about simplicity.
Go watch The Beaver. Then forget about Mr. Zuckerberg for a while, and play with a piece of wood instead.
Image courtesy of Summit Entertainment LLC