Loss is not always an easy thing for men to handle, especially when it happens suddenly. We are supposed to be the strong ones— but how should men act when someone you love dies out of nowhere? There are many ways to grieve, and those often depend on a lot of different factors like upbringing, culture, and how close you were to this person you lost. Well this is a subject that is covered in great length in Demolition but not in the usual way. I was able to see it last week and here is what I thought of it.
Davis Mitchell (Jake Gyllenhaal) works as a successful investment banker and seems to have everything from the high paying job to the nice house and the loving, beautiful wife. His life takes a turn though when his wife dies suddenly in a car crash. Although he continues to get pressure from his father-in-law Phil (Chris Copper) to pull himself together, Davis only continues to unravel. In the hospital after the car crash Davis tries to purchase some peanut M and M’s only to have the machine take his money and not give him what he wanted. He sees an address and starts to write letters to the company. Over time these letters make some startling admissions about himself that end up getting read by a customer service rep named Karen (Naomi Watts). Through a series of events the two form an unlikely connection. With the assistance of Karen and her son Chris (Judah Lewis), Davis slowly starts to rebuild—starting with the demolition of the life he once knew.
Demolition is actually pretty good. It takes a very unique look at the way that death can unexpectedly affect people who get stuck in the monotony of life. There are times in people’s lives when everything appears to fall in place as it is supposed to—but this can still leave some people with an empty feeling like with Davis. It is not only until this tragedy happens to him that his eyes really are opened to the things around him. Jake Gyllenhaal gets to play a character here that has many different layers. At times Davis may seem one-dimensional but this is almost a defense mechanism. After the death of his wife all he wants to do is try to keep life going as it did before, something many men want at times in life. Not easy. The process of grieving and moving on and will not be the same for everybody. I liked how this film portrayed some tough issues in a sometimes clever fashion, and found it interesting how it all worked really well. The soundtrack is great and livens up some scenes where with the right song make them special to watch unfold.
Demolition gets 7/10. The movie has subject matter that won’t be for everyone and some situations will not be for kids but most people will enjoy it. It is a rare type of movie that takes a simple man and makes him into something more. The movie does a great job of letting us see how dwelling on the past, can affect the present. The future is not always known and this is not a terrible thing here. Once the movie is over things are not wrapped in a tight bow but viewers will be happy with how things finish up.
If you are in the mood for a different kind of drama this is the movie to pick. If you enjoy any of these actors then you will want to see this film. Demolition comes out this Friday.
Watch the trailer below: