Movie-50/50: A tale of inevitability and vulnerability of story that we call “LIFE”

Nikspeaks Cinema
4 min readJun 27, 2021
Giving up or starting again, usually starts with shaving head, ever thought about this?

Imagine that you are sitting somewhere in a coffee shop, enjoying beats of the music that perhaps you don’t understand, enjoying the fume of the coffee, brewing in the cynosure of the shop, pervading in the atmosphere. You see some pretty faces around which makes you feel a little envious as well as self conscious at the same time. You see a pretty girl noticing you and your self esteem gets some momentary boost.

Now imagine that girl walking upto you, carries a smile that reaches her eyes, her aura rubs off on you and you smile back. At that very moment, she gives you a very tight slap. You face and ears turn numb and you are not able to comprehend and process what just happened.

This is exactly how being diagnosed with Cancer for a twenty something who is perfectly healthy, does everything right in life, must have felt when the news of him being diagnosed with some cancer with innumerable syllables must have felt upon his ears.

The 50/50, is story of our male protagonist Adam, played Joseph Gordon Levitt (who I believe is criminally under rated). In the movie 50/50, Adam is the quintessential Mr nice guy in the movie, who does all the right things, has a beautiful girlfriend , has a dickhead friend, and a caring mother, to whom, like any young adult, he doesn’t like to talk to much, though loves her.
As carricated in the passage above, his life starts falling apart when he is informed by the doctors that there is a medical alien sitting in his spine that reduces his chances of survival to 50%.
The screenplay and cinematography in the movie beautifully brings out the events that follow after your declaration of death is gazetted in the world. How the whole world starts sympathising with you more and how sympathy becomes a sulemaani Keeda (pain the ass) for you.

Joseph beautifully brings out emotional vaccum that any individual facing death would be having upon hearing upon this news and how this emotional vacuum and confusion throws you into a spiral altogether.

Kudos to the makeup team of the movie as well, who just did the right in making the character come on screen and didn’t keep it less or more, just kept it enough. Unlike movies in our country, where over the top everything is a “normal”.

The character is shown to transcend into physical and emotional weakness with every passing day and month as a repercussion of chemo, cancer and the life (whatever is left) happening around him and you can actually comprehend and understand what anyone having cancer must be feeling emotionally and physically.

There is something about Joseph Gordon that he fits into simple , ordinary characters so extraordinary that they leave a deep impact and while watching it, you feel that you are part of the process and not just an alien to the screenplay happening in front of you.

One thing that I actually loved the most in the movie is the graph of the male friendship in the movie. A wavelength which I would consider is quite close to what and how male friendship is, in reality as well. A little insensitive , mean, stupid, illogical, vulnerable, and less expressive, yet emotional. Seth Rogens keeps the fun element in the movie alive and acted as a support to the male protagonist throughout.

Anna Kendrick who plays the role of the therapist, is the only thing in the movie which I felt was overplayed than required. There was no need of inserting love interest in the movie. Keeping her as something which protagonist desired but couldn’t have because of the parallel life has thrown him into would have been fine, but movies are sold in the world before being watched, so weaving her character in the movie as a love interest later is understandable (more from the commercial point of view, compared to the artistic point of view).

There were some scenes in the movies which actually resonate with the emotional pain and baggage anyone who is mugging up inside of him will find relatable and perhaps would want to playout the same with the character somewhere. (Kaafi honesty ho gaya)

All in all, its a beautiful movie which stands tall on the shoulder of Joseph Levitt and makes you cry a little in some scenes!!

Good for Emotional Catharsis :P

Trailer of the movie:

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