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Customer Review

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars and then you realise you're smiling..., 21 July 2006
This review is from: Garden State [DVD] (DVD)
This film suprised me. I went into it knowing very little about the story but thinking it may be interesting to see what Zach Braff had to offer behind the camera (usually a good way of seeing how their mind works). As a consequence of this I starting watching it with a blank mind and no pre-conceived ideas. In retrospect, I think this may have been what they were aiming for as I was in pretty much the same mental state as Andrew (Zach Braff) is in the film - a numb zone where the world seems to be going faster than him, he feels he is always one step behind but doesn't have the energy to get out of the rut. The fact that his psychiatrist father (Ian Holm, I am a big fan!) is the one who's been dosing him all through his childhood is a nice twist and adds an interesting, if slightly underused, subplot.

As the film progresses over the last couple of days before Andrew takes off for pastures new, he stops his meds and this is where the direction and acting come into their own. It would be too easy to ram that fact down the viewers throats, but the very gradual re-awakening of Andrews senses and the bizarre journey he takes to find a suprise present for him with his girlfriend (a very talented Natalie Portman - George Lucas, you should be ashamed) and old friend (an equally excellent Peter Sarsgaard), which include perfectly timed comic moments which you can recognize from your own experiences (the guy in the hardware store anyone?) are dealt with at a strolling pace. Sometimes this pace of enlightenment is difficult to get right, but as the film wends its way from one well shot scene to another, you realize that you've been sucked in on his mental and physical trip and that you are really enjoying the ride. His journey really ends 15 minutes before the end of running time with a moment of release on the edge of a bottomless abyss (it makes sense in the film, honestly) and as I watched this, I realized that I was smiling a big, deep, warm smile. Films like this don't come along too often and when then do they blind-side you in all the right ways. Excellent acting and direction all round, so get yourself a big cup of tea, some chocolate digestives, then settle back, watch and enjoy!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jun 2010 23:22:05 BDT
Kate Telford says:
"The fact that his psychiatrist father (Ian Holm, I am a big fan!) is the one who's been dosing him all through his childhood is a nice twist and adds an interesting, if slightly underused, subplot. "

Thanks for ruining that for everyone.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2014 17:35:12 GMT
Noon says:
But surely not a fan of his phoney yank accent?
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Location: Cambridge, England

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