Where Does Your Passion Lie? Beauty, Emotion, and Passion Without the Cheesiness

Hey, Hey, It’s Robbie K with another movie review for the masses.  The movie of choice this time is Bradley Cooper’s latest film entitled the Words, a tale about a struggling writer that discovers a story unlike any he has read.  He’s so captivated and impressed with the story he decides to submit it to the publishers as his own work leading to a high point in his career.  However, a road block is soon hit as the original author returns and demands to confront the man who has plagiarized his work.  What will happen?

When I saw the category Drama/Romance I immediately thought I was getting another chick flick or soap opera that have seemed to flood the movie world.  Yet to my surprise, and perhaps luck, I got something else out of this film, something that many artists will appreciate more than one going for entertainment.  The Words is a film that addresses the issue of what one would do to obtain their passion and if they would go so far as to steal/cheat their way to reach their dream.  While it may seem obvious that one should not cheat, this movie shows that pressures in the world may drive even the most honest person to doing something wrong.  Unlike the cheesy, overacted dramatic scenes other dramas choose to do, The Words instead keeps the situation realistic to a pretty reasonable level.  Instead of having a wild young couple’s love conquering the struggles and getting instant success, like most chick flicks, New York’s hard knock life actually puts the couple’s fantasy love to the challenge.  Yes, that’s right the couple actually has to work out their differences and work on their relationship.  As life continues on, the struggles of the real world continue to conflict with Rory’s (Cooper) dreams of writing, despite his passion to write.  When the magical manuscript arrives, the choice of turning in the script is not instantaneous as some dramas decide to do.  Instead the film chose to show the struggles of using a meal ticket to fame, or to hold onto integrity and pay your dues.  This portrayal of man’s internal struggle is relatable, at least it was for me, and thought provoking as to what it could take to break your own morals.

As you’ve seen from the trailers, you know what his decision is.  Yet instead of then turning the drama into a chase/hide from the law while the protagonist tries to find redemption for his actions, The Words decides to dive into another area that artists will surely grab on to.  This idea is creativity and passion that everyone in the world strives to discover.  This act of having the Old Man, Jeremy Irons, tell the tale of Rory’s novel, helps to explain how such a feat was created.  It’s during this tale that a mixture of drama, romance, and inner journey was well crafted to keep the movie interesting and still emotionally stirring for me.  Rather than filling the screen with montages of romantic kisses, sunset walks, and over emphasized smiling scenes, this movie chose to keep the movie realistic as the relationship buds from friendship to true love.  While this occurs, a parallel story also develops as the Old Man’s counterpart begins to discover his desire, which he has to develop.  As events unfold, the young man continues to adapt and evolve, which for me was more interesting than any prodigal artist story until the climax of the tale unfolds.  Yet for those who do want romance, it is still in this movie, but it is not the sole focus of this movie, which may be a turn off for you.

However, no movie can really come to life without actors to play the characters the tale revolves around.  I rather enjoyed Cooper’s performance of the struggling artist, as he managed to capture the anger, frustration, love, happiness, and countless other emotions required for the part.  Unlike some of his other roles, his character had well written lines that for once weren’t infused with numerous F bombs and cursing.  Instead, Cooper actually got have some diversity in his dialog switching from casual romantic banter to soulful speeches about what drives him.  Zoe Saldana did a nice job with her role, but her character is pretty one dimensional and has very little use than a tool to drive Rory’s decisions and creative sparks.  The other actor that may have made the movie for me was Irons, the man with the gruff voice that is perfect for telling stories.  Whether he is on the screen or just telling the story, Irons puts enough emotion into his words to add a little extra emotion to the scene, without overdoing it.  For me his voice somehow managed to ensnare me in the story, and the scenes seemed to mirror the emotion he showed.

Despite the artistic appreciation of this movie, there are a few characteristics that may turn one away from this movie.  For one thing, despite the romance tag in this movie, this isn’t your typical couple cuddle movie.  While I do enjoy realistic portrayal and drama, others may be disappointed with the lack of over passionate love scenes most media like to use.  The drama in this movie is more about challenging one’s inner character, not challenging a love story.  Other weaknesses include some pointless characters, a very predictable ending, some edits to the Dennis Quaid parts, and some rather pointless characters.

To summarize this review, The Words is a well done film that is realistic and artistic at the same time.  Although I enjoyed various parts of this movie, I can’t say I would recommend this film for a theater visit for most. Instead wait for this well shot movie to hit Neflix/Redbox, then you can enjoy it in the comforts of your own home. My scores for this movie are as follows:

Romance/Drama:  8.0-8.5

Movie Overall:  6.5-7.0

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