Infinitely Polar Bear
Infinitely Polar Bear is a dramatic-comedy film that centres itself on Cam (Mark Ruffalo). With his girlfriend Maggie (Zoe Saldana), Cam had a wild ’60s in Boston, until he suffered a nervous breakdown. Fast forward to the late ’70s, and after a stint in a mental hospital and diagnosis of manic-depressive disorder, the now married couple are struggling to raise their two young daughters. Being too poor to support their children, Maggie leaves for New York to pursue further education and a better job. This leaves the unpredictable Cam tasked with the seemingly impossible – being responsible for his kids whilst also keeping himself together.
The film jumps rapidly in tone, as once scene may end with things looking positive, only for it to be stripped away again in one manic, beer and cigarette fueled haze. It is a great reflection of how loosely Cam is in control of his mental state, and Mark Ruffalo is outstanding in this role. The real highlight, however, is the strength portrayed by Maggie and the girls to constantly fight what seems like a losing battle to keep Cam going.
By directing a film based on her own childhood, Maya Forbes has been able to allow an insight of how issues of mental health, family bonds, and even race relations affect people in very real ways that are not visible to those of us on the outside.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film and would recommend it for its charming candor.
By Leo Sloan