Indie Gems: Manic

You can't escape yourself.

Before we saw Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel together in the wonderful (500) Days of Summer, we saw them in this gritty indie about teenagers in a psych ward.

Lyle (Gordon-Levitt) has just been admitted into treatment for his violent outbursts. The film is about the relationships be forms with the staff and other residents. There's Dr. Monroe (Don Cheadle) who's trying to help him.  Chad (Michael Bacall), a resident he gets close too. He also gets feelings for another disturbed resident, Tracy. (Zooey Deschanel)

JGL shot this film when he was a teenager, and even back then you can see what strong actor he is. The film deals with a lot of serious issues youth in treatment face, and it breezes through them without feeling intrusive. I liked the chemistry between Tracy and Lyle, even though their relationship was far from normal. I liked how we got a little bit of story on all of the "main residents." What brought them there, what they set out to accomplish. The film was shot entirely with a hand held camera and can be a bit shaky at times. It works for it. It feels uneven, like many of the residents in the film feel.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Batman is not a homo. Batman bangs the hottest chicks in Gotham city!" - Chad (Michael BaCall)

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