Silver Linings Playbook Review





Silver Linings Playbook Review

The film, Silver Linings Playbook, is an adaptation of Matthew Quick’s novel, The Silver Linings Playbook. Released in 2012, the film centers on the relationship and family issues that Patrick Solitano Jr. faces in relation to his bipolar disorder. Portrayed by Bradley Cooper, Patrick focuses on reconciling with his separated wife after relocating to his parents’ house due to his recent apprehension at a psychiatric hospital. However, the character meets Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence) who attempts to assist him in reconciling with his wife. In exchange, Pat must participate in a dance competition with her. Onwards, the film illustrates the development of relationships between Pat, Tiffany and his family and the manner in which they manage their recurrent issues. Undeniably, it is certain that the actors in the film portrayed essential acting techniques in order to achieve the objective of the movie. In this respect, it is important to focus on three acting techniques employed by Bradley Cooper, which comprise Presentational and Representational Acting, the ‘Magic If’ technique and Given Circumstances.

Presentational and Representational Acting

One of the acting devices utilized by Bradley Cooper in the film comprises presentational and representational acting. Both variants of acting devices illustrate different definitions in performing. Foremost, presentational acting involves an association that concentrates on recognizing the audience. Identification with the viewers may involve conversing with them directly or utilizing certain attitudes, languages, gesticulations, expressions or precursors to illustrate that the actor is aware of the audience. Presentational acting is usually common in theatres and live stages. Accordingly, the differentiation between this type of acting and representational acting actually arose from the manner in which performers portrayed their roles in respect to a live audience. In film, presentational acting does not deviate far off from theatre. However, instead of relating directly to the target audience, actors utilizing this form employ different facets in order to communicate to their respective spectators.

An instance of the use of presentational acting involves the use of personal experiences. Actors will use their personal experiences in order to envelop themselves in their designated personas. This allows them to deliver inward and apparent objectives of their characters to their audiences. Accordingly, presentational acting allows actors to gain a more profound comprehension of themselves and their motivations. Furthermore, the actors utilize their individual experiences in order to provide a greater rejoinder from their characters while managing emotional input. In Silver Linings Playbook, Bradley Cooper utilizes presentational acting based on his personal experiences. He acts as a divorcee based on his separation from his former wife, Nikki Solitano due to his violent attack on her lover as well as his mental condition. The instance of presentational acting is evident based on Cooper’s divorce from his first wife, Jennifer Esposito. With respect to this, Cooper, while playing Pat, was able to integrate his experience in divorce into the movie where his character also faced divorce.

Another type of acting device evident in the film is representational acting. Representational acting is different from presentational acting based on the relationship between the audience and the actor. Representational acting comprises an instance in which the artist ignores the viewers. Unlike presentational acting, which focuses on relating to the spectators, representational acting involves the performer distancing his character from the audience. This form of acting technique influences the actor to exude his persona as if the addressees are absent. This way, the artiste separates himself or herself from the character by avoiding the utilization of direct or indirect techniques. In addition, this technique enables the actor to concentrate exclusively on the persona without paying attention from the audience. This way, the actor will be able to act in a character that he or she has never assumed. Furthermore, the use of representational acting allows the actor to deviate from integrating emotional experiences, which may be traumatic to their mental health.

One way in which representational acting occurs involves the assumption of characters that are unidentifiable to the actor. Playing a different persona is a challenge for any actor. This is because the actor requires channeling different personas for the different characters he or she plays. This enables them to build authenticity and originality in the play or film. Consequently, the representational actor requires working harder in order to develop a different persona in every movie or play. This is in order to ensure that the audience relates to and understands the character portrayed. Furthermore, since the actor does not use direct or indirect techniques of communicating with the audience, it is imperative for him/her to immerse into the respective character. In the film, Bradley Cooper plays the role of a middle-aged man with bipolar disorder. This role requires him to have mental health problems, which he has never experienced. Furthermore, representational acting is evident due to the absence of a specific target audience.

The ‘Magic If’ Technique

Another way in which Bradley Cooper executes his role effectively is via the ‘Magic If’ technique. This acting tool allows the actor to emulate the respective character in terms of empathy. ‘Magic If’ influences the actor to think of the role and actions he or she would partake if they were subject to the character’s similar circumstances. Usually, actors employ this technique if they are unfamiliar with the character’s motivations or the emotional planes. In spite of this, it is important for every actor to consider this tool. This is because the reality that takes place on the stage is considerably disparate to the realities of life. However, even though this is factual, it is still possible to achieve realism on a stage. Consequently, a performance in any stage should be convincing. The reason for this is to ensure that the audience deems the circumstances within the film or play as believable and credible.

Accordingly, the ‘magic if’ allows the actor to produce this authenticity. In order for the performance to be credible, it is critical for the actor to illustrate his or her character in a manner that is realistic to the viewers even if the movie or play is fictitious. Furthermore, ‘magic if’ enables actors to integrate both representational and presentational acting tools in their performances. Based on this, it is notable that this technique provides a relation between superior theatre techniques. In terms of representational acting, the ‘magic if’ enables the actors to imagine themselves in a circumstance and exercise empathy towards their respective roles. Furthermore, since representational acting does not communicate directly or indirectly to the audience, it is important for the actors to envision and adopt their roles effectually in order to gratify the needs of their spectators.

In terms of presentational acting, the ‘magic if’ provides an opportunity for actors to apply sympathy for their character in a personal way. This is because this type of performing enables actors to attach their emotional experiences to the character’s circumstances. Consequently, presentational acting concentrates on communicating with the audience. Therefore, in order to relate directly or unswervingly with the respective viewers, it is necessary for the actors to apply this technique. The ‘magic if’ will assist the actors in portraying characters that associate with the audience. This is beneficial since it recreates the performance as a realistic and authentic sum of circumstances to the viewers. By utilizing the illustrations provided, it is certain that the ‘magic if’ technique possesses significant importance in acting. It permits the actors to transcend the restrictions of pragmatism by urging them to consider the possibility of the circumstances emulated within the performance.

The utilization of ‘magic if’ is evident in the Silver Linings Playbook. One of the instances in which Cooper displays this technique involves his character’s mental condition. As stated, Patrick Solitano suffers from bipolar disorder. This is a difficult role to assume especially for actors with unsatisfactory knowledge in mental disabilities. In this respect, assuming the character of a mentally unstable person was complex for Bradley Cooper. This is because of the fact that he had never previously assumed such a role. Furthermore, it was imperative for him to consider the implications that his role may pose on the audience. As a result, Cooper had to concentrate on making his character realistic enough for the audience. In addition, Cooper required incorporating the issues that a man suffering from bipolar disorder would face and the impacts of his mental health on his family and the encompassing community. By being empathic to such circumstances, Cooper was able to portray his character realistically to the target viewers.

Given Circumstances

Another acting tool used by Bradley Cooper in the film involves the Given Circumstances. The term, given circumstances, implies the sum collection of circumstantial and environmental conditions that influence the character’s actions in a performance. Usually, the actions that a character engages in arise from the influence of the environment he or she resides. Accordingly, these circumstances also validate the authenticity of the performance. This is because the conditions occur in a manner that is realistic and subjective to the theme of the performance. In addition, given circumstances associate considerably with detachment of the actor from the character portrayed. This is the Substitution Principle. In this respect, the actor focuses on portraying the character completely in order to provide the targeted viewers with a complete description and visualization of the character.

With respect to substitution, given circumstances play a crucial role in the emotional and physical development of the character throughout the performance. In order to understand this, it is imperative to comprehend the meaning behind substitution. Substitution involves understanding the aspects of the character by engaging in comparison of such aspects with the features of the actor’s life. For instance, if the actor portrays the role of a character facing swindling, then he or she should reflect on similar instances concerning the role in his or her life. The relationship between this principle and given circumstances is evident based on the actor’s superimposition of the events he or she faced that relate to the character. In the film, various circumstances occur based on his character’s actions. For instance, after violently beating his former wife’s lover, Pat undergoes apprehension at a psychiatric institute. Even though Pat is unaware of his actions, Cooper is aware of such actions and via substitution, manages to portray his character realistically and effectively.

In conclusion, Bradley Cooper plays his character effectively in the film, Silver Linings Playbook.In order to deliver such a performance, Bradley Cooper employs specific techniques of the craft of acting in the movie in order to achieve the film’s theme. The techniques that the actor applies comprise presentational and representational acting, the ‘magic if’ and given circumstances. Even though there are other tools evident in the film, these techniques provide the foundation of the film based on the way they create and develop the character via internal and external environmental influences. As a result, the amalgamation of these tools in the movie illustrates the manner in which Bradley Cooper functions as a proficient actor.

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