Movie Recommendation: Garden State (2004)

David Schwimmer is not the only (awesome) TV actor who we realised was a gazillion-times cooler than anyone could’ve imagined. Zach Braff, or JD from Scrubs, too made his directorial debut in the 2000s, *while* he was still shooting for Scrubs. Braff not only directed, but also wrote Garden State, which was as much a departure from the writing on Scrubs as American sitcom comedy is from Navjot Siddhu’s jokes on Laughter Challenge.

Yes, that last sentence was a bit extreme but five minutes into the movie, and you’d know we weren’t exaggerating. Because where Scrubs is slapstick, over the top, one liner galore humour, Garden State is an unassuming, subtle and quietly clever dramedy that will – at some point in its delightful screenplay – make you realise that this is your favourite movie that you hadn’t watched yet!

A story of a failed actor who returns to his hometown depressed, but gets inspired there to give it all another go, Garden State is not your conventional underdog story. For a pleasant change, it’s as much about warming up to old memories and making peace with your reality as it is about new beginnings and chasing your dreams.

The movie’s not got dramatic high or low points accompanied by a Hans Zimmer score… but it’s got moments that’ll stay with you long after the credits roll. It’s not got that one mentor who inspires the lead actor to find his mojo in a cult speech… but it’s got a group of friends who’ll make you realise that sometimes, screwing up is okay. It’s not got any life lessons that proclaim to change your life, the world and everyone in between… but it’s got heart.

And that’s where this little indie gem inspires in ways no other carefully-put-together rousing studio movie does. Through fantastically etched scenes on the evil quarter life crises, stunning, understated performances by the leads Braff, Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard, and just the right kind of music (that scored a Grammy)… the movie makes you feel. And is there any better reason to watch movies… than to feel? Buy NOW!

Starring: Zach Braff, Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard
Written By: Zach Braff
Directed By: Zach Braff

Note: This recommendation first appeared in MTV Noise Factory, January 2012 issue
Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

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