Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means.
Wilson Joel is a man in trouble. There's a searing pain in his gut that he can't tolerate and a dazed quietness to his struggle as he tries to maintain his equilibrium. Wilson is attempting to move on from the sudden and inexplicable suicide of his wife. His mother-in-law is there for him, but her sympathies turn quickly. He has an employer that seems to want to help him, and a workmate who wants him for herself. But nothing and no one can give Wilson solace; so, he seeks oblivion. It is not the usual alcohol or drugs. Wilson inhales fumes from gasoline cans and model airplane fuel and finds temporary salvation in the company of remote-control model enthusiasts. However, nothing that provides him relief really lasts. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Amazingly apt portrait of one man's loss and regrowth
This movie had me from the opening scene. Throughout this film, I could feel Wilson's pain at losing his wife; worse yet at losing her through suicide.
Imagine heading for work one day and returning to find the person you've sworn to spend your life with has taken her life. Days later, when the shock and the pain have numbed enough that you can re-enter your home and sleep can finally reclaim you, you fall to the floor of your garage or hallway or kitchen or linen closet [wherever you choose to fall.] A slip of a blanket covers your legs and you finally decide to grab your pillow to shelter you from the cold floor. There it lies: the note from your wife.
Wilson carried that letter for weeks.
He placed it in his silverware drawer after a while.
His mother-in-law has no one to place her love on any longer, so she gives it all to Wilson. At least, she tries, but no parent is supposed to bury their child; and no parent is supposed to bury their child when she has killed herself.
Throughout the entire movie the pain is raw, chilling, and inescapable for the characters; and entirely palpable for the viewer. This is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.
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