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
There are two scenes when Wilson (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is trying to get into his mother-in-law's (Kathy Bates) house, he is screaming and rattling the bars on the outside of the house, as if he is imprisoned. This represents the cage of grief, how inescapable grief is. See more »
Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Wilson, a software engineer who has just lost his wife to suicide. The movie traces Wilson's descent into gasoline sniffing, erratic behavior, wanton risk taking, and ultimate self-destruction.
P.S.H. and Kathy Bates turn in good performances but, whereas Hoffman is the central focus, his performance is a little more mannered and forced than we have come to expect from him.
Maybe there is no more meaning to grief than as a highly personal experience, but as a moviegoer having suffered through this man's trauma for an hour and a half I wanted more reward. The hook to keep us interested was the suicide note, but it turned out to be rather generic. At the end we are just left with lots of questions: what was Wilson's wife like, did he drive her to suicide, how come he had no friends, what was it in the relationship that the suicide knocked him for such a loop, what was he like before the suicide, does the final scene imply that Wilson has taken the final step into madness or that the only way for him to recover was to leave everything behind?
If you are a P.S.H fan, then maybe there is enough here for you, but I think this movie will be a little too dark for most viewers.
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