Demolition was released on 2015. It is a story about Davis's (Jake Gyllenhaal) post-traumatic stress disorder. Davis was portrayed as a typical rich bloke. He is working in "finance", and got married to a girl whose daddy got plenty of cash although that wasn't the reason he married her. He barely noticed anything and took everything for granted especially his wife's love. I don't think he didn't love her. I think he just didn't care enough before she died. Before everything was too late.
I have no expectation whatsoever on this movie. When I watched it for the first time it didn't occur to me that it is so emotionally powerful. I first thought it is a comedy-drama because that was what was written somewhere on the internet and I was looking for a feel-good movie. An uplifting one. I am not sure if this movie is uplifting but it did make me feel good, in a strange way.
At first I was a little confused about what Davis was doing. He was trying to act like everything was normal and nothing had happened. He came to the office, I assume, the next day his wife died. Then it occurred to me he was actually completely blocking his emotion out.
He did not trust himself to feel such pain. He was not willing to let himself cry, or even talk about his feeling and what had happened. He was empty. His soul was not in his body. His mind wandered everywhere trying to grasp every inch of the universe.
His mind was clearly was not in working order at all. He became friends with a stranger, Karen, who smoke cannabis and her son, Chris. He confided in Karen about everything and trusted her to sort of navigate his life because he seemed like he really didn't know where he should be going or where he wanted to go. He is simply a lost adult overwhelmed by the world. He also told Karen he didn't love Julia.
Davis then wanted to "know what is inside" everything. He tried to fix the refrigerator that his wife told him to fix prior to her death. He eventually demolished the refrigerator and subsequently many other things including his office's bathroom door (because they were creaking), his computer, a cappuccino machine and he even tear his house down with a bulldozer he got from eBay. Interestingly, Gyllenhaal was able to make Davis appear as not an angry man. Yes, he sure destroyed a couple of hundred thousands worth of stuff, but he wasn't turning into the Hulk. He felt tremendous pain in his heart that destroying something, anything, made him feel good. As if he wanted to crush his inside.
I feel the whole reason why he did what he did, was that he was trying to "know what is inside" himself. He probably felt he wanted to know what he was actually feeling. He is scouring through his inside but he just couldn't be honest with himself. He was in so much pain and because he is not used to communicating his feeling, he is having a hard time to express his emotion. His heart was hurt so bad that I think even the thought of his wife will make the cut go deeper. His take on that was to just, block it all out, in the hope that his pain will eventually go. Except it didn't.
Davis once stepped on a three-inched nail and after screaming to death out of pain from his foot, he was cheering the injury shortly after. He finally felt "physical" pain. I think what happened was that his physical pain was greater than what he was feeling inside him and for that split second he actually felt what was going inside him couldn't be the worse thing to happen.
The last scene of Davis meeting his father in law, Phil, just broke my heart. He finally came to term with his feeling and allow himself to feel his inside. He said to Phil he love Julia and I personally think it was after going through those bizarre experiences of feelings and emotions that he couldn't name them, that he finally understands he had loved Julia so much. His eyebrow drooped and you can see pools of tears in his eyes when he finally came to his senses. I find it interesting that this story just let Davis walk through his feeling and let him reconcile without any "second hit" on him. Just the perfect way to tell someone somewhere curled up on his bed mourning for his/her life that "time will heal".
Jake Gyllenhaal's performance was outstanding. He truly immersed himself in the life of Davis. I couldn't think of anyone who could perform it better than him. And can we take a moment to appreciate how good his facial expression and body gesture was? That deserves a standing ovation.
Lastly, I know this film would not be everyone's favourite. I can think of many reasons why like how "quiet" the movie was, how slow and "boring" it could get. But, for me, everything was spot on. One of my best watch this year, but I'm warning you, it might not be yours :)