Director: Jodie Foster
It has been a long time since I've seen Mel Gibson in anything. He has been out in the film circuit for quite sometime, and reappeared again, later, in this strange movie. Strange, because he's wearing a beaver puppet hand, but otherwise, a good film. While it didn't hit a home run, The Beaver provides a pallet of performances that encapsulates the statement the piece was going for.
Walter Black has been depressed for quite some time. His wife has managed to kick him out of the house, he had been seeing a therapist but stopped, and has been in the verge of suicide. After some failed suicidal attempts, something in him snaps and an alter-personality is born through a beaver puppet he found in the trash. He communicates to others through the beaver, and although strange, there has been an improvement with the way he is. That didn't last though, as his old personality began to snap back when he realized that he lost his family and the beaver personality was taking over him.
I was particularly fond of the set design in Anton Yelchin's scenes, particularly his bedroom and the wall. It's somewhat reflective of his personality. He might be fixed on the outside, but as his room suggests, he too had secrets of his own. I don't usually pay attention to credits but when I saw Jodie Foster's name pop out as being the director, I was surprised. She was able to convey the tone that the film was going for. She was able to set out where the main characters were at the point of their lives. Particularly with Mel Gibson's scenes. They were shot in coherence with the characters he was portraying. While the performances were clearly not lacking, something was still missing to make the film hit its spot.
While there is a level of predictability, The Beaver manages to win spot on in terms of performance, which Foster clearly brought out of the film. However, it still felt lacking as compared to other family-centered flicks out there. Based on the other Gibson's films I've seen, this feels like a breath of fresh air. A good first time watch, but I don't think it'll do for a second time around.