Dark Horse (2011)

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Dark Horse: Directed by Todd Solondz. With Melisa Young, Jordan Gelber, Selma Blair, Mia Farrow. Romance blooms between two tricenarians in arrested development: an avid toy collector who is the dark horse of his family and a depressed woman on the rebound.

“Being someone who has seen most of Todd Solonzu0026#39;s movies, you know what to expect from him. And you wonu0026#39;t get disappointed. I had the opportunity to watch the Middle East premiere of Dark Horse at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. It was an even bigger experience to have Todd present during the screening, and give it an introduction as a u0026#39;sad comedy, where itu0026#39;s up to you to laugh or notu0026#39;. I donu0026#39;t know how big an impact this particular statement had on my state of mind throughout the movie, but I cant help mentioning the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed it. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe story revolves around Abe, a thirty-something who works for his father, pampered by an extremely loving mother, having a highly accomplished doctor as his brother, and having a passion for collecting toys. When he meets Miranda, a strangely damaged soul going through some serious depression, he begins to think of getting out of his desperation by having her as a partner. They eventually enter into a seriously unstable relationship, where you even begin to question whether there really existed any element of a relationship between them. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe beauty of the movie lies in the director trying to portray the dark side of the unstable mind, through imagery. One of the scenes which really got to me is where Abe is supposedly in a toy store, demanding a refund for his fiancé whom he wants to return, insisting that he has a receipt which as the store staff points out has its date smudged out. Even though this scene is a figment of his fantasy, it really goes to show how Abe perceives things in life. A few other incidents involving the unseen affection Marie (secretary to Abeu0026#39;s father) has towards Abe, and Mirandau0026#39;s ex-boyfriend Mahmoud, all seemed to perfectly blend into the movie.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eNeedless to say, Christopher Walken played a strong part as Abeu0026#39;s father, so did all the other characters including Selma Blair as Miranda. However a big part of the movieu0026#39;s success lies in the solid performance by Jordan Gelber as Abe, who i felt was just apt for the role and did total justice to it. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFinal verdict: A story involving a dysfunctional (or perhaps semi- functional) family, two out-of-the-normal characters and their seemingly unstable relationship, brilliantly presented in the form of a comedy – which makes you laugh and at the same time think about the appropriateness of laughing. Entertaining, and thought-provoking.”

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