What They Had (2018) Review

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Bridget must return back home to Chicago to help her brother Nick and father Burt as they struggle to deal with how Ruth is declining in her battle with Alzheimer’s.

Nothing will be able to prepare you for the emotional journey this film will take you on. Especially if you have any experience with someone who has Alzheimer’s it really is the very worst thing to watch someone you love be lost in this horrific way. However, I feel as though the film is a very important one. To help raise awareness and show that you are not alone, so many families are going through all of this.

Bridget is unhappy in her marriage which is now twenty years in, with a teenage daughter Emma who is unsure if she wants to actually continue with college. This causes a lot of tension between the pair and when they arrive in Chicago they are not on the best speaking terms at all.

Nick has been holding down the fort attempting to help his parents as much as possible, but this has taken its toll on him and he really is struggling with it all. With no one to really help him until Bridget arrives he has tried to come up with a better living situation for both his mother and father. Which allows them to still be close to each other.

It highlights all of the possible things that could happen not only to the person suffering but also how the family is impacted. How you have to try to deal with everything. An impressive thing with the film though was that we get all of this from the different characters point of view and how it makes them feel. It brought back some memories myself from when my Nanna went through the different stages.

The denial stage from those closest who do not want to admit that it is getting worse. Some of the lines really were impressive and created some very good things to think about. To create this though it had to have plenty of good performances and with Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon taking more leading roles that is certainly something we get from start to finish with this film. It broke me a few times and at the end I felt rather empty, which I guess doesn’t sound like a good thing but with the nature of the story it was never going to be a happy ending.

It was great to see Hilary Swank in a leading role again, she is one of my favourite actresses and I really do enjoy her ever-growing range of taking on all types of roles and genres. Michael Shannon never disappoints and he was given plenty of emotional moments to really show off his talent.

The film might be very tough at times, but it also reminds us that we must also laugh at some situations as you will just end up getting more and more upset and low about it. Different people deal with things in different ways and that is highlighted by the characters in this emotionally charged film.

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