In Rabbit Hole, Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, dealing with the untimely death of their young son, are trying to put their lives together. Nicole drifts way from Aaron, while the latter is on the verge of having an affair. Read the review to find out more.

Business rating: 1 star

Star cast: Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart.

What’s Good: The performances; the high-strung emotional drama; the cinematography.

What’s Bad: For some, the overdose of serious drama might be a negative point.

Verdict: Rabbit Hole is an honest film. But it will fail to work at the box-office.

Loo break: None.

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Watch or Not? Watch it for Nicole Kidman’s performance.

Rabbit Hole Review (Rabbit Hole Movie Stills)

Olympus Pictures, Blossom Films and Oddlot Entertainment’s Rabbit Hole is an emotional drama about how a couple deals with the loss of their only son.

Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) are married to each other and are well-to-do. They are putting their lives together after the death of their four-year-old son, Danny. While Becca is deeply affected by her only son’s death and wants to remove every shred of evidence, that he ever existed, from their home and lives, Howie wants to cherish Danny’s memories forever. The couple goes for daily group therapy sessions where people, who have lost their children, come together to share their experiences, but after a point, Becca can’t take it anymore. However, Howie keeps going to the sessions and even develops a friendship with a bereaved mother, Gaby (Sandra Oh).

In her fragile state, Becca becomes belligerent and strains her relationship with her mother, Nat (Dianne Wiest), and Becca’s pregnant sister, Izzy (Tammy Blanchard). She also fights with random strangers and refuses to have sex with Howie. Becca and Howie also keep having fights over who was to blame for Danny’s death. When in an attempt to seek closure, Becca reaches out to Jason (Miles Teller), the young boy who had caused Danny’s death, she finds it a fulfilling experience and continues meeting him. But when Howie finds out that Becca has been meeting Jason, he is infuriated and decides to get physical with Gaby. In the meantime, Becca realises that even Jason has moved beyond his guilt. What happens to Howie and Becca’s marriage? Are they able to recover from the shock of their child’s death? If yes, how? The film’s climax answers these questions.

Script and Screenplay – Rabbit Hole Review

David Lindsay-Abaire’s screenplay, based on his own play, Rabbit Hole, is poignant and heart-wrenching. Apart from a few light-hearted scenes, the rest of the film is a well-written and enacted drama. The writer establishes a clear connection with the audience right from the beginning of the film, by showing the high-strung emotional fights between the husband and wife. When Becca starts following Jason around, the audience is intrigued about what she is doing as they are not yet aware of how Danny had died. This adds to the viewers’ curiosity. Besides, Howie’s flirtation with Gaby also leaves the viewer wondering about what will happen next. The characters of the main protagonists and even those of Becca’s mother and sister are well-fleshed out. Overall, the drama keeps the audience engaged. However, by its very nature, the story has very limited appeal. The masses among the English-speaking crowds will not really appreciate this kind of drama. Also, for a lot of viewers, the drama might prove to be too much to take. In the Indian context, the parents fighting with one another after the death of their only child doesn’t make too much sense because they are supposed to sink their differences, if any existed, not highlight them after a tragedy of such magnitude. This, and the fact that Danny, or how he dies, is never really shown throughout the film, robs the screenplay of one massive tear-jerking moment.

Rabbit Hole Review (Rabbit Hole Movie Stills)

Star Performances – Rabbit Hole Review

Nicole Kidman steals the show with her fine portrayal of a bereaved mother. Aaron Eckhart complements her well. Miles Teller acts naturally. Dianne Wiest, Tammy Blanchard and Sandra Oh provide able support.

Direction, Camerawork and Music – Rabbit Hole Review

John Cameron Mitchell’s direction deserves full marks. He extracts powerful performances from his cast and maintains the high-intensity drama throughout the film, never faltering even once. The measured camerawork (Frank G. DeMarco) does full justice to the subject at hand. The accident scene, though restrained in what it shows, is very well-picturised. Anton Sanko’s background score is the life of the film. Joe Klotz’s editing is okay.

The Last Word
All in all, Rabbit Hole is a good fare for the elite audience only. It will, therefore, not find many takers at the Indian box-office.

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