Solitary Man (2010) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes


Solitary Man (2010) 

Directed by Brian Koppelman & David Levien • Written by Brian Koppelman

With Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Jesse Eisenberg, Mary-Louise Parker, Imogen Poots, Jenna Fischer and Danny DeVito

Halfway into his sixth decade, the sight of Michael Douglas returning to the role of a lothario feels like some kind of comeback. In his most prominent parts, he’s played self-consumed characters in love with money and sex; Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct, Wall Street – all strongly flavoured films centering on themes of addiction to danger and excess. Indeed, Douglas’s real life woes of sex addiction add a dark credence to this role of Ben Kalmen, a man who when we meet him, is battling to be his younger self in a world that refuses to accommodate his ways.

Co-directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Koppelman wrote the script) – the film provokes dividing thoughts on our outlook on ageing and maturity. It is an intimate story that questions our idea of how a man in his 60’s should behave –  on one hand, we’re willing Douglas’s character to defy age and live his life to the fullest, yet his selfish ways have distracted him to the point of damaging his most meaningful relationships… not to mention his career.

The framing of his character is established in a six years earlier scene, as Douglas consults with a doctor about a health irregularity. It’s this event that flicks a switch in his attitude, sparking an anxiety that births both denial and excess. Douglas is excellent, playing the conflict of his character with a degree of understanding worn across his famous face. In crucial scenes, a simmering Imogen Poots is a tantalising bait for Douglas’s ill-discipline, while Jenna Fischer emits warmth through a curtain of tough love in the role of his disappointed daughter.

Despite strong writing by Brian Koppelman and a notable supporting cast, Solitary Man is largely considered as incidental. It can’t help but meander, at times, yet it remains a solid drama with some real world connotations and Douglas is perfectly placed in a role that evokes ghosts of his past.





About garethrhodes

Full-time lover of all things creative.
This entry was posted in Film Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Solitary Man (2010) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

  1. Chris Evans says:

    Michael Douglas can do no wrong, I’m glad he’s coming back for the Ant-Man sequel. More Douglas is always a good thing for the world of film!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s