Walter Black is a very successful toy executive and family man who finds himself in a downward spiral. Regardless of what he tries he can’t seem to get himself back on track. Of course therapy isn’t one of the things he tried. Enter stage left “The Beaver,” a hand puppet. The puppet becomes Walter’s means of communication which results in a fascinating dichotomy of results, some brilliant, some devastating. Deftly directed by Jodie Foster, (who also plays his wife) and Anton Yelchinas as his teenage son, the Black family is faced with tough decisions as Walter’s personality becomes more and more divided between the Beaver, his stable rational side, and the depression trajectory that he is headed down.
Like him or loath him, Mel Gibson is in top acting form and delivers two extraordinary character personalities: a husband sliding into an uncontrollable depression and his rational side attempting to find voice via a beaver. Watching these two sides try to take control is often chilling. Anyone interested in a deeper understanding of depression should see this gem of a film.