Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Monday, November 16, 2009


While I had some issues with the filming style, the plot and acting were great. I walked away from the film having a small but gritty and moving view of what it might be like to live with schizophrenia.

Well-known critics dismissed this film; some saying it wandered and that the dialogue was not cohesive. Others criticized the multiple, simultaneous voice tracks as not adding value and detracting from the drama. Granted, those aspects are not entertaining, however I have to imagine people suffereing from this mental illness are not entertained by it either. Schizophrenia does not so much lend itself to linear thought process or scheduling internal voices to talk serially. Besides, sometimes there needs to be a break from entertainment for some other activity, I dont know, lets just say learning, for example.

Its a good thing I routinely ignore anyone who is a self-professed expert or critic, they often miss the larger more important message for surface deformities and other irrelevant details.

Jamie Foxx, who has racked up some stellar performances, definitely captures the dischord and misalignment with reality whole heartedly. He has moments of bone-crushing brilliance that make the film worth watching. Even Robert Downey, who frankly has never rated very high in my book, captured what I can imagine to be the frustration of trying to communicate with someone who can be several personalities at once and prone to spontaneous and sometimes violent espisodes.

This story of the prodigy Julliard cellist turned LA homeless man is based on a true story, and it is not uncommon. Since I started walking my 7 miles a day to and from the Cancer Shoppe, I too have run into my share of mentally ill and homeless in Houston. Watching this film doesn't change their plight in any way but maybe I understand what they face just a little better.

The Soloist

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