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50/50 – Review


Release Date: 30 September 2011 [USA]
Director: Jonathan Levine
Writer: Will Reiser
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Seth Rogen - Bryce Dallas Howard - Anna Kendrick



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Posted October 17, 2014 by

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50/50 Review:

Cancers a pretty tough subject but to throw it in with a comedy element then you instantly think it’s a mish-mash of ideas that just shouldn’t be. 50/50 however manages to get a nice balance of pretty dark storytelling at times from Joesph Gordon Levit himself but throwing in that extra kick of comic element from Seth Rogen. It’s a black comedy but not the typical kind, more the laugh out loud and find yourself feeling emotionally drawn to the characters at hand.

The film revolves around Joesph Gordon Levitt as the lead character who suddenly finds he has cancer. The film is very balanced on JGL’s shoulders as he becomes the main element with his coping of his cancer much like he became the main element in (500) Days of Sunmer. Seth Rogen sweeps in with his usual comedy elements as the best friend but theres sides to Rogen in 50/50 which I’ve never witnessed before and that’s heart. He often becomes so brought down with all his laughs and jokes (which to be honest the guy is a comedian and a good on) but this felt really nice and a huge change to see the guy muster up some emotion and drama for once. As for JGL it’s very much him in a way. He does his job and he does it damn well being one of my favourite actors, he just has a way about him.

Cancer is a very difficult subject but 50/50 has somehow managed to really bring it all together. They’ve managed to tick off all the dramatic elements in a way I haven’t really seen before and to try and equal the film with comedy is something unheard of. In a way it’s not a surprise. How do we deal with situations like this in the best way? Well with comedy of course, laughing, joking, it’s all there and it all fits together working as one.

Something which spoke out to me was all the different things JGL’s character goes through. It felt as if the makers of the film had a check list of different emotional elements and things someone might go through, then they just gave all of these to the main character and kind of said go deal with it. That’s sort of where this film lies, deal with it. We go through this characters small point in his life. He even States how his life was sort of average then suddenly some back ache turned out to be a cancer where he had only 50/5) change centre with. We slowly see everyone’s reactions and everyone’s is different. Seth Rogen tries to stick a smile and tell him everything will be alright but the guys broke up about his friend and he just doesn’t know what to say. JGL’s girlfriend plays the ‘I’m going g to be there for you, sort of’ character, another interesting point in big changes with people’s lives with who sticks around through it? So there’s another box ticked. Then we have the parents who well, typically just react badly. They instantly prepare for the worst. We also have the Dr who JGL regularly sees. Again it’s the sort of dilemma you expect, he talks to this person who acts like they know what’s going on but really, they’ve never been through it so they have no idea.

50/50 is a brilliant film and being released a few years ago now, it hasn’t really stuck around. It was one of those Joseph Gordon Levitt films where I thought everyone would remember it but, well, that didn’t happen. It’s a pity as for me, being a big JGL fan, I thought it was even better than (500) Days of Summer! Be sure to check out this black comedy which just screams out realism from the rooftops! It’s true to heart and true to nature.


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Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 22.37.10

Matthew Reay
Freelance Contributor


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