Cody – 50/50 stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Adam, a relatively happy radio journalist whose life is turned upside down with the discovery that he has contracted cancer. The movie follows Adam’s struggle with his new-found disease and how his relationships with family and friends become affected.
Ellie - I enjoyed this movie! Adam’s character is perfectly set up and explained in the very first shot. While out jogging he stops at a crosswalk and, even when there is obviously no traffic around, he waits until directed to cross the street. Adam is a man the does what he is supposed to. This is an attitude he carries with him for the majority of the movie. Even though he is dealt a bad hand by life, he does not rail against the world. Instead he jumps right into receiving treatment. That is, until he is forced to face his own mortality after the death of Mitch. Until this point in the movie it doesn’t quite seem real that, while these men are admittedly sick, they may also be dying.
Cody – The supporting characters within 50/50 really do help capture all of the emotions that are felt by Adam. While Gordon-Levitt’s performance as Adam shines brightly in a dark film, Seth Rogen’s representation of Kyle, Adam’s friend, is worth commending. Kyle is consistently supportive of his friend and acts as the comedic foil to Adam’s serious nature. Rogen’s performance allows the viewer to laugh at a film about a man undergoing cancer treatment without guilt.
Ellie - The movie is not simply a dramatic story of how a man fights for his life against cancer. It is a very real picture of how an individual and those who share his life learn to cope with the diagnosis of cancer. We all have someone in our lives that has been affected by cancer, and regardless of the outcome it is a trying experience that is stressful for everyone involved. Yet despite the seriousness of the topic 50/50 was also able to make us laugh. Adam’s friends are able to keep some light in his life as he deals with the darkness that is surrounding him.
Cody - 50/50 manages to seamlessly transition between comedic and dramatic elements throughout the film. While Adam’s situation is portrayed as dire and unfortunate, the film is able to keep a somewhat upbeat attitude in regards to his cancer. This mirrors Adam’s own behaviour throughout much of the film, as he maintains a positive outlook despite his unfortunate circumstance. Adam’s behaviour only begins to drastically change after the death of a friend, where he begins to come to grips with his situation and accepts the possibility that he will die.
Ellie - I did enjoy the overall feel of the movie, but I must admit I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters. I did of course hope that Adam successfully beat the cancer, but it was the hope of a passive viewer that knows she is supposed to care for the main character. But I don’t want to just be a passive viewer. I want the story to pull me in. I want to be on the edge of my seat hoping the director didn’t decide to get artsy with the film and make a statement ending. I want to desperately crave the big Hollywood finish- beat the cancer and get the girl! That wasn’t the case though. I just watched as the movie unfolded. The one time I genuinely felt something for the characters was when Adam and his mother are hugging before he goes in for the surgery. I also particularly liked the ending of this movie. We were given just enough closure that I could leave satisfied, but also left it open enough that the viewers are able to determine what exactly will come next. Though I was not particularly attached to the characters, the realistic story telling won me over with an enjoyable movie.
Cody – One of the very few flaws from my point of view was the lack of pace. While the film was an enjoyable story, some scenes of the film felt dragged out, while others didn’t necessarily get the attention they deserved. In particular, the scene where Adam learns of Mitch’s death and his subsequent funeral seemed rushed; however, the scene also communicates how fierce of a disease cancer can be. Friends who were there one minute are now gone the next, and this experience really teaches Adam how destructive his disease can become. Aside from a few minor flaws, this film does an effective job at conveying the struggles faced by those afflicted with cancer, and how they choose to cope with it.
Cody – 8/10
Ellie – 8/10