***WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Released to critical acclaim and receiving two Golden Globe nominations, 50/50 became a success upon release. But why is it so good?

50/50 treads a dangerous line by making a comedy about one of the most sensitive issues in the modern world: cancer. Adam is a twenty seven year old clean living guy who is diagnosed with the disease. 50/50 follows Adam as he struggles to cope with the diagnosis and fights to beat the cancer with the help of his best friend Kyle, his overbearing mother and a trainee therapist.

Seth Rogen and 50/50 screenwriter, Will Reiser.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is absolutely fantastic as the main character as he always is. He allows the audience to really get to know Adam and become emotionally connected to him, almost as if we are going through the battle with him. Seth Rogen comes under a lot of criticism for always playing the same character: himself. But no such criticism should be labelled at him here because Seth Rogen was actually part of the story that inspired this script. Will Reiser, who wrote the film, was diagnosed with cancer and loosely based 50/50 on his experiences and who was the best friend that helped Reiser through his battle with cancer? Seth Rogen, so it is only right that he play that same part here. And what a brilliant job he does, not only at providing some fantastic lines and comic relief but at making the audience really believe how much Kyle cares for Adam, more so as the film goes on. The chemistry and friendship between the two actors is fantastic.

A lot of the credit of making 50/50 feel as real as it is has to go to the director, Jonathan Levine. Levine has been quietly getting noticed with films such as All The Boys Love Mandy Lane and The Wackness but it is here in 50/50 where Levine excels himself. The way in which the film is shot allows the audience to become a part of the world and helps the film to come across as incredibly real, almost as if this was just people in the street going about their lives and not actually a movie at all.

The comedy is well spread out throughout the film and does not take anything away from the dramatic or dark story theme. In particular, one scene just after Kyle finds out that Adam’s girlfriend is cheating on him is particularly hilarious and if you have seen the film then you will know straight away what scene it is. The laughs will not last long though because you will be brought back down to Earth as Adam continues his struggle and one of his friends in chemotherapy passes away leading to Adam almost accepting death to be his fate as well. And as Adam is wheeled away for his operation I think there is a real sense of not knowing which turn the film will take; will Adam survive or won’t he?

50/50 is an incredible roller coaster ride. It can make you laugh and it can make you cry. But more importantly the film and the characters will stay with you for a long time. It is not a film that you will be in a hurry to forget, that’s for sure.

My Rating: 9/10.

Advertisements