Proof is about the daughter of a talented but mentally disturbed mathematician. After the death of her father, Robert (Anthony Hopkins), Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) struggles to come to grips with the possible inheritance he left behind: his insanity. To make things worse Catherine’s sister comes to visit insisting that Catherine move to New York with her so she can keep a close eye and one of her father’s ex-students (Jake Gyllenhaal) sticks around to go through Robert’s old notebooks.
Based on the play by David Auburn’s Pulitzer winning play which shares the same title, this John Madden film is heartwarming, underrated and relatable. It deals with important issues such as mental health, love, family and plagiarism which is without a doubt why it’s such an engaging flick.
Gwyneth Paltrow gives one of her best performances as Catherine showing the mental effects giving up her own life to look after an elderly loved one has and the real life symptoms of depression (In comparison to what people think depression is). Paltrow really shines as an actress with mass amounts of potential from this performance. Jake Gyllenhaal gave an understated and effective performance, presumably to contrast Paltrow’s intense one. Anthony Hopkins also gave a fantastic performance showing the real life effects mental health can have on people, no matter how brilliant they are.
The film itself has a great storyline, but feels really slow at times. This is not a “popcorn flick” that you watch purely for fun, this is a film that makes you think and opens your eyes to the reality of others lives. Admittedly you probably have to be in the mood to watch a film of this nature.
Madden did a great job in setting the tone of the film, with the setting choices, clothing and the way he directed the actors. This is a very strong film in terms of directing due to the sporadic telling of the story which coincides with mental health and the way things play out in the head of a person suffering with an illness.
It was great to see such a unique idea portrayed in such a great way. Normally when we speak of talent we think performing e.g. dancing, acting etc. but to see Maths regarded with such importance was great. Also showing that even the most intelligent can lose it all to their own minds was so important.
All in all this is a fantastic film that makes you think and truly care about people suffering with illnesses, although a bit slow in parts this is a fantastic but underrated film.