Joy review by Rashid Irani: J-Law is the matriarch of the mop

  • Rashid Irani, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jan 23, 2016 15:16 IST
David O Russell is not always successful in weaving the interplay between the diverse characters.

Direction: David O Russell
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper
Rating: 3

Collaborating for a third time (after Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle) with the cast of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, writer-director David O Russell’s quirky new film chronicles the tumultuous journey of a young woman who proved everyone wrong by single-handedly building up a business empire.

Read: Joy review: Even Jennifer Lawrence can’t mop up this mess

Joy (Lawrence) is a single mother living in a rundown house with her dysfunctional family. Besides grandma and Joy’s two children, there’s her divorced mother who spends all her time watching TV soap operas, and her ex-husband (Edgar Ramirez), a penniless singer who dreams of being the next Tom Jones and meanwhile resides in the basement.

Watch the trailer here

Just when you thought life couldn’t possibly get more crowded, her domineering father (De Niro) fetches up after being discarded by his girlfriend. Things go from bad to worse when the wannabe entrepreneur struggles to persuade the executive (Cooper) of a home shopping cable network to peddle her first patented invention: a user-friendly mop. The director is not always successful in weaving the interplay between the diverse characters. The introduction of a Haitian plumber provides meagre comic relief but he is quickly shoved to the sidelines, as is Joy’s young son, who is barely glimpsed. The occasional use of dream sequences and flashbacks, particularly to Joy’s courtship and marriage, are jarring. But Russell draws out expert performances from the ensemble.

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