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Walter Black ('Mel Gibson') is depressed and sleeps most of the day. It's driving his family crazy, and his wife Meredith (Jodie Foster) kicks him out. Walter starts carrying a beaver puppet and tries to commit suicide (unsuccessfully). He uses the puppet to talk to himself, trying to bolster his spirits, and is trying to rebuild his life. Through the beaver, the family begins to learn about Walter's history and problems, and as he continues rebuilding, the beaver shows us all a way to cope. Written by
This is a picture of Walter Black, a hopelessly depressed individual. Somewhere inside him is a man who fell in love. Who started a family. Who ran a successful company. That man has gone missing. No matter what he's tried, and he's tried everything, Walter can't seem to bring him back. It's as if he's died, but hasn't had the good sense to take his body with him. So mostly what he does is sleep.
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Although it's difficult to watch Mel Gibson now without the backdrop of alcoholism, abuse, bigotry, rants and disappointment, this role may actually be the perfect role for him to re-appear on the screen with sympathy and hope of redemption. He plays this role perfectly and the viewer is sucked into the emotion and distress of all characters dealing with their own challenges. It's a beautiful movie with a powerful message. Some have criticized Jodie Foster's directing, but I found the film to be very balanced with the right amount of comedy and tragedy. I loved the camera work and editing, especially with the Beaver as its own character. I also liked the secondary storyline about the teenagers. All the performances were very good. I think the entire movie is very well done, and although I have not changed my personal opinion of Mel Gibson at all, the movie does make you very sympathetic towards families dealing with crisis including his own, and as an actor, he pulls off a very difficult role.
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