A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating.
The Beaver is a controversial movie. Controversial because they’ve got Mel Gibson in it who is controversial in and of himself. Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence, and Cherry Jones. Great cast. The story is of a man who is suffering from a serious case of depression and has been for a long time to the extent that his wife has actually tossed him out. He has a son who is so determined not to be like his father that the son actually keeps notes about what his father does so he makes sure that he doesn’t do them. I really liked the first half of this movie. I thought that Mel Gibson was terrific and I’m not a Mel Gibson fan. I don’t think anybody is a Mel Gibson fan these days. I mean he really is a good actor and it was fun to see him. Jodie Foster is always good. So you know I was surprised at how much I liked parts of this movie, not all of it. But I thought the first half at least was psychologically astute. A number of things were psychologically astute. First of all that one of the ways that we split off from our own personality. Not necessarily from depression but from things that are too unhappy to deal with is that’s what schizophrenia is. Schizo is break. It’s a schism. So that Mel accomplishes this by a hand puppet. So it allows him to be a different person and kind of ignore the pain in his real self. So I thought that was psychologically astute. The fact that father and son had similar characteristics and manifests them in different ways that Mel used a hand puppet to find a different ego. His son writes other people’s papers to find a different ego and could write them in his voice. So I thought it was a very smart movie. Sort of didn’t know what to do with itself at some point but I still thought it was a very smart movie. Three and a half stars.