PT. Anderson Series: ‘Punch Drunk Love’ -Review

Punch Drunk Love is a 2002 drama written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson about Barry Egan, a lonely and troubled novelty supplier who is very unhappy with how his life going. When a woman comes into his life and flips it upside down he does everything he possibly can to be with her all while fighting off someone blackmailing him and threatening his life. The film stars Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Luis Guzman.

I have seen a lot of movies since I was a child, but this is one of the most unique films that has ever stood out to me that every time I think of I instantly want to watch. Up until I had seen this movie I believed Adam Sandler was never someone I could see in a serious movie. Now, this movie isn’t exactly what I would call completely serious, but it’s definitely shows a more serious side of Sandler than everyone is used to seeing. His performance in this movie alone made me want to see more dramas with him in it. From the opening scene alone he sets a tone for his character that is not easily processed and is almost unsettling due to the fact that he’s usually not in a role like this. Sandler’s performance is mesmerizing.

The story that this film follows is quirky, unconventional, and carries charisma that is incomparable. From the opening scene alone you begin to ask questions that may or may not be answered as the film continues, and as it does it follows this same trope. There are events that take place in this film that happen and are never mentioned again despite how relevant they may seem. What I loved so much about this story was how different it was from what you would normally see in a romance movie. After seeing so many films in my life it’s easy to sit back and think you know what will happen next, especially with specific genres. This film does not follow the cliche types and is completely unpredictable. It carries a strong undertone throughout the movie and gives a glimpse of how Sandler’s character experiences life through the frame of the film and does it magnificently. The film is scattered with visual subtext that highlights the situations and scenes the character is put through.

As I mentioned before the performance from Sandler is absolutely fantastic. Emily Watson also gives us a wonderful performance that works extremely well with Sandler’s. The energy he carries, although sometimes troubled, gives life to the film and keeps us as interested in her as much as him. Philip Seymour Hoffman also stars in the film, although he is not shown on screen too much he does play a big part in the film and when he does steals the spotlight. He does amazing as the character he is portraying and I wish I could have seen more.

If I have any flaws with this film it is nothing major that can drastically effect anyone’s opinion of the movie. Throughout the movie there is a lot of subplots, some more relevant than others, of course, but there is one major part of the film that seems to be a very relevant part of it that ends unresolved and never mentioned again. Overall, the film is brilliant, quirky, unique and beautiful in its own way. I give Punch Drunk Love a 9/10.

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