Mel Gibson. The name alone brings thoughts of controversy and megalomaniacal egocentric meltdowns. And I’m a Mel Gibson fan. Let me clarify that. I am a fan of the man’s work, not the man whose personal life imploded in the media not so long ago.
“The Beaver” is the latest effort Mel has put out. The premise involves a depressed man with a puppet of a beaver. With the movie’s title and that snippet of information, I was expecting a comedy. This is one is being billed as a drama and further into I delve, the more interesting it begins to sound.
Walter Black was once a successful toy company CEO and a happily married, family man. Depression took over and now Walter can’t seem to do anything right. That is until the puppet enters the picture.
Work holds no appeal; he can’t connect with his wife, played by Jodie Foster, who also directs, or his kids. Then one evening he finds the puppet and it becomes the voice he has lost. It allows him to say the things he needs to with the psychological buffer the beaver provides. Through this coping device, Walter begins to reshape his life and his relationships.
It sounds a bit contrived but when you watch the trailer, you’ll see that it really seems to work. I also saw a spark of the Mel Gibson I came to love in films like “Man without a Face,” ”Conspiracy Theory” and “Forever Young.”
Gibson’s only made four films since 2006 and 2 of them haven’t released yet. This outing reunites Gibson with Foster who worked on “Maverick” together in 1994. It looks as if the long wait may have been worth it.
The film is scheduled to open May 6, 2011. I definitely plan to see it, do you?