Smashed | Movie Review
Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Kate, a woman who simply loves her drink. In fact, it even forms the base of her life and the relationship with her husband, Charlie (Aaron Paul). Getting drunk and having a good time is a daily occurrence for the married couple, but things slowly spiral out of control as Kate’s alcoholism begins to heavily affect other aspects of her life.
The film follows Kate’s painstaking journey to maintaining her sobriety, beginning from attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and subsequently having to face the issues that had arisen through her constant drinking, such as dealing with a white lie that she had told at work to cover up a previous hangover now having snowballed to disastrous proportions. Yet, the biggest issue she faces is her relationship with her husband, who continues on with his inebriated lifestyle.
Smashed had opened at the Sundance film festival in early 2012 to much success before gradually premiering internationally in late 2012 to early 2013, having already made a favourable impression on both critics and casual viewers alike within the United States. This is writer-director James Ponsoldt’s second feature length film, and the concept of alcoholism is something he has previously taken an approach to, though from a different point of view.
Though with a running time of only 81 minutes, Smashed is packed with as much drama and sentiment as its characters is with alcohol. Winstead and Paul carry out wonderful performances that will not fail to have your heart feel heavy as you witness their struggle with love and sacrifice.
What makes this film absolutely stunning is the genuineness of the characters and how they react to the situations presented to them; the dialogue is also well written and delivered impeccably—full of wit, humour and intense emotion. While the story itself may be a simple one, plenty of themes are addressed, and in the end there will be much to be think over as the credits roll on-screen. One can only dwell in the astonishment of how such a superb film could have been shot within the span of 19 days.
Text by: Jillian Tan
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