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Demolition’s Demolishing Effect

By Kayla Sturdevant

Demolition starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts features a story on a man who loses his wife in a car accident and struggles to find what to do now that she passed.

Gyllenhaal’s character, Davis Mitchell, lives with the kind of mind that doesn’t stop. Davis constantly thought and thought about things that probably don’t matter to most people. With all of his thinking, he discovered that he didn’t love his late wife Julia like most husbands do.

With this finding, he showed no reaction to her death which many family members and co workers saw as a cry for help. Davis needed help but not because of the way he was dealing with her death. No, he wanted to find out more about himself and what he likes to do.

At one point in the movie Davis said that he felt numb for the past 10-15 years. One of the ways he tries to learn about himself included doing things instinctively and being openly honest with people.

One of the activities Davis partakes in throughout the movie includes taking things apart. First, his refrigerator that Julia had told him to fix the leak in. After this he took apart the bathroom stall at work because it squeaked. Then he took apart his in-laws bathroom light fixtures because they flickered. He also took apart his work computer.

He noticed he enjoyed taking things apart to see how they work and then he started working free of pay for a construction company destroying old houses. He felt alive doing this rather than his regular financing job.

After his wife died, Davis tried purchasing peanut M&ms from a vending machine in the waiting area but the candy stuck to the dispenser after he put in his money. He then wrote many letters to the vending machine company first explaining his situation and asking for a refund. He continued writing letters about himself to the company.

One night, he received a call from the customer service department from a woman named Karen Moreno who became very fascinated with him and he developed an obsession for her as well. They try to meet each other but Karen became wary and backed out because of the inappropriateness of the situation. He then found out more about her and forces her to meet him at her house by arriving uninvited.

Karen never felt scared of Davis, which seems odd because he of his persistence to meet her. They developed a strong friendship though and never engaged in a sexual relationship. Davis also befriends her son Chris who struggles with his sexual identity.

The entire idea of the story revolves around being true to the self. Throughout the story the mood changes from tragedy, to love story and then finally to the true theme: a self realization story.

Davis’ father in law and boss, Phil, became very agitated by Davis’ apathetic feelings over his daughter’s death and they bump heads throughout the film. Finally, Davis realizes his love for Julia after finding cute and thoughtful notes from her and cried for the first time over her death. He then dedicates a carousel in her honor for special needs kid because of her profession as a special needs teacher.

The ingenuity of the film touches the heart and really encourages staying true to the self. Fantastic and inspiring, Demolition blows away the audience.

Image from AceShowBiz

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