A story that takes an interesting curve on the topic of grief and the struggle Jake Gyllenhaal’s character has to face in order to mourn his wife’s passing. Demolition could have ended up being a heart-rending story about loss, but instead director Jean-Marc Vallèe shows us the more relevant-to-our-time point of view on the subject and instead greets viewers with what is a more direct approach.
After losing his wife in a car crash Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal) takes a detour from what by that point had become a cycle of nonliteral sleepwalking through his life and starts a journey of self-rediscovery. His main conflict becomes finding catharsis in the struggle to feel grief over his current predicament. You almost feel Davis’ character closely resemble parts of what Patrick Bateman’s persona in American Psycho was, due to the empathic neglect they both exude. So, to help himself find solace trough reverse engineering his marriage, Davis starts dismantling furniture, destroying appliances and even going as far as bulldozing his entire home down in search for sympathy for somebody whom he loved. It truly is an interesting take at the PTSD ( or lack there of ) Davis’ character experiences.
It sure is not easy to make an emotionally deprived character feel relatable to audiences but with an interestingly placed sense of humor both director and writer seem like they have been hitting the right notes. This combined with Jake Gyllenhaal’s incredible streak so far seems to sum up in a nicely wrapped package. Not to be left behing is also Chris Cooper, who since his Oscar win for Adaptation. (2002) hasn’t met much critical acclaim since. Seeing Cooper back in a project which might turn out to resonate with critics is great as he surely has more to offer as an actor.
After doing Prisoners (2013), Nightcrawler (2014), Southpaw (2015) and a small (but memorable) role in Everest (2015), Gyllenhaal seems to be at the height of his career. Pumping great performances out every 6 months or so, he shows his script choices to be quite well picked. Although being able to show vast range in his roles he does seem to be keeping to drama as of late, and further cementing his position as one of the finest actors of his generation and further generating attention for his future projects. Some of which are mostly Oscar-bait throughout, with the one with most potential being Nocturnal Animals, a movie based on “Tony and Susan” by author Austin Wright. Other than that moviegoers can expect nothing less of a dedicated and heartfelt performance by Gyllenhaal who once again proves he’s aiming for gold.
Demolition will premiere in American theaters on April 8th 2016.
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