A soulful ride of joy and survival that will enlarge the spirit of many viewers out there.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Adam, an adolescent who's living a pretty daily routine without too many distractions or interferences from outside his own circle of familiarity. Working and spending time with his girlfriend Rachel (Bryce Dallas Howard), his closest friend Kyle (Seth Rogen), or alone watching movies or reading. A declaration of normality in today's society. Everything starts to change once he needs to go to a doctor and make some medical tests because of a seemingly insignificant back issue. The reports will change his life from now on once he's notified in a pretty distant and cold way that he has a form of cancer which will leave him 50/50 chances to survive. His character is what I think it should be. A dose of positiveness in the whole chaos that was about to happen. I was from the first moment attracted to the characters because I honestly saw it as a mirror of my own personality. It strives on the ideas that I basically run my life with. The simple fact that he takes a harsh response without screaming and appealing to grotesque methods of crying for himself and the fast finding of a comfort zone and a peace of mind with the situation is what I also expect for myself. Now Adam will continue his daily routine for a short period of time. His friend Kyle will be there for him but he'll also try to make him comfortable by joking with him while at the same time he kinda innocently uses his friend's medical issue to meet women. He does that not because of selfishness but because of the actual shock that he also has. He's afraid but he doesn't show it. He's trying to convince himself that this is not happening to his best friend so he decides to joke around without realizing that it might affect in the long run his partner. Adam's girlfriend, Rachel, decides to take care of him and support him ignoring the past issues they had. As for Adam's parents, he'll carefully notify them even though "them" is not a realistic term since his father had serious medical issues as well. So Adam's concern for his mother is realistic and honest and that's how I will act in his place too.
Getting back to his relationship with Rachel, problems do happen every now and then, there's no sense of perfection, but later, Rachel will pull what many girls of her type I saw them pulling in real life. They'll abandon their commitment because they won't feel secure, because they won't spend their time taking care of one guy that they will think they'll lose, because they want to have fun, they're young so in their eyes this will be too much for them. As expected, Rachel will leave Adam heartbroken. Being heartbroken in times like this won't help you in any way. On the contrary. Adam slightly begins to lose confidence. He's already started to visit a young aspiring psychiatrist Katie (Anna Kendrick) but this relationship will further develop since it will become his most beloved place to simply retire and escape from his own bad thoughts and signs of frustration or desperation. Adam will continue pursuing this honest path to light and life, he'll fight with his inner little fork devils that will try to make him quit, he'll find comfort while speaking and embracing a group of other patients with cancer from his hospital, he'll have to witness the loss of one of them, he'll realize the possible outcome of his situation, he'll find peace and he'll find love and friendship in his mother, his young psychiatrist and his closest friend. He'll survive only if he'll play not by the rules of life but by the conventionality of his own heart and of his own desires.
Joseph Gordon-Levit plays fantastically his character. While the performance itself might not be groundbreaking in terms of technical acting, his wisdom and lack of control of his character will let him feel real and spontaneous. JGL gives a soulful performance, a delight to both the screen and our eyes, and to our minds and hearts. I had questions before the movie came out of how Seth Rogen will fit in this but he pulled the best he could pull in his situation. He didn't felt exaggerated and he didn't felt restrained or rigid on the screen. He found a way to mix his comedic behavior with the seriousness of the story and his own character. Bryce Dallas Howard was very good for her screen time, which made me like her even more as an actress after her almost perfect performance in The Help. Anna Kendrick was the least interesting act, not because of her character but because I already know how she'll play her roles. She mostly picks childish and silly characters so that I became familiar with everything she does. She'll have to pull a 180 degrees route for me to pay attention to her performance. The technical execution of this film was similar with 500 Days of Summer for example. It had light tones but in contrast with a pretty dark story. I cannot really find too many issues with neither the cinematography, neither the sets or the music, neither with the mixing and editing, everything seemed in powerful contrast with the story and that benefited the whole experience.
50/50 is one of the most powerful films of 2011, a soulful ride of joy and survival that will enlarge the spirit of many viewers out there. It's a bold small cinematic statement that will never be forgotten by anyone out there.
Technical Execution: 8.1
Replay Value: 9