Infinitely Polar Bear

infinitely-polar-bear-2Without the great central performance this would not have any of the praise it is getting. Ruffalo, who I have always wished would do more independent films, gives one of the best performances of the year. He plays a manic-depressive father who has to take care of his kids by himself for 18 months while his wife (played by Zoe Saldana) is off studying at Colombia. The biggest complaint I have with this is the portrayal of Bipolar disorder. While not nearly as bad as David O. Russell portrayed it in Silver Linings Playbook, the highs and lows of Ruffalo’s character come across far too imbalanced than they should. When Ruffalo is up the film doesn’t really go anywhere in particular. These scenes just seem to be there for us to like his character during his lows. The down-swings feel really emotionally manipulative. With the being said, you really do feel for all of the characters here, especially knowing that this was based off of the director’s own life. I just got the sense that she wanted to emphasize how serious Bipolar disorder is. I just think she went a bit too overboard. She sends off some mixed messages along the way too. I often found the audience laughing at the outlandish things that Ruffalo was doing, which were clearly there to show what Bipolar disorder does. I don’t think they Forbes has as much control on the film as she would like. These scenes shouldn’t really be funny. They should be more or less heartbreaking. Infinitely Polar Bear feels like one large string of anecdotes instead of something free-flowing. It rambles on for what feels like a lot more than the actual runtime without ever reaching much of a conclusion. Despite the fact that Forbes jumped from season to season throughout the course of the film, the final time jump at the end just felt far too convenient.

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