TIFF 15 Review: Demolition (2015) ★★★


Mitchell loses his way in a tragic car accident. He ends up in a hospital with minor scratches. He finds himself hungry and uses an automated machine to buy snacks. The machine freezes without returning Davis’ money. Being in a difficult situation, heartbroken and devastated by loss and hunger, he sends countless letters to the Automated Vending Company to request a refund. Soon he will receive a call that will change the course of his life, and will make him curious how certain things look from inside… But as it usually happens in real life, before you search for an answer somewhere else, it’s better to start it within yourself….

Demolition is a movie directed by Jean-Marc Vallée that hardly meets your expectations. It has so many issues I don’t even know where to begin. While I have no complaint regarding the performances delivered by Jake Gyllenhaal as Davis Mitchell or Naomi Watts as Karen Moreno, the film fails to deliver its main point. When the film begin, we immediately must face the car accident where Davis’ wife passes away. While you as a viewer might expect him to mourn the death of his wife, Davis appears much stronger than ever. Next day he gets ready for work, ready to conquer the world, and find out more about the ‘things’ such as clock, furniture, and even the house from inside.

I don’t know how many people would have done that in real life, however, it was quite interesting seeing how far Jean-Marc Vallée will go to develop Davis character in a way to leave us absolutely stunned. Unfortunately, it happens, but not the way the filmmaker could have expected. By the time we reach the middle part of the film, you are left with so many questions but no answers at all. And the thing is, as it usually happens in real life, we don’t get response to many things, but what happens in Demolition is hardly something that can happen in your neighborhood.

It is also unclear why the screenwriter decides to write Naomi Watts’ Karen Moreno and her son Chris Moreno as they serve no purpose in the film. That was a crucial failure for Demolition when four combined storylines overlap, making no sense at all. And how could it, when the writer himself was not sure which way to go….

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