Take Shelter (2011)



Although we are somehow obsessed with grilling, some foods prepared are just better when simmered to perfection. I hope I describe this film right. If it was not  for two great actors, Michael Shannon as Curtis, and Jessica Chastain as Samantha taking us along the ride, it would have been another bible driven apocalyptic film. There  were no thunders splitting highways, no boulders falling out of mountains, tsunami engulfing coastal plaints, no frantic wife screaming with kids in tow, but just a family dealing with what it was. 

Curtis is a foreman of a mining company, earns a good living, and provides for his family. His daughter, Hannah(Tova Stewart) is deaf and finally approved for treatments. Wife is Samantha, who does some home embroidery to help out. Hannah’s therapy and special needs eat up most of the family budget. The family lives in a small town of the tornado belt, strange weather and  heavy thunderstorms probably are common. As usual, in a small community people know each other.

On top of strange weather and weird school of birds flying in the sky, Curtis is also experiencing dreams that cause physiological pains, and severe anxiety at night. These are no ordinary nightmares, they are traumas, he usually wakes up soaked with sweat. Samantha is so focused with her daughter’s therapy, and Curtis is reluctant to burden her with his stories, the two seems to drift apart, which is common when communications and understanding die between a couple.

At that point, I concluded that she was so insensitive to her husband’s needs, but I was quick to judge. Instead, she starts to take control of the situation, and starts to listen and helps her husband.

Curtis fears of an apocalyptic storm makes him sick, so he decides to build an underground storm shelter in his backyard to protect the family when the storm hits. His symptoms worsens, and one day quitting work early he goes Upstate to see his mother, who is institutionalized for schizophrenia.

I think I have given enough to get you interested. Facts remain: beliefs vs. mental illness. Remember this is a slow boil, you must sit through it to realize what a great film this is. I guarantee you will want to find out what happens! 



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