Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of watching an advanced online screening of the independent film Mighty Fine.
I was a little nervous about watching it, because frankly, the subject matter hit close to home for my daughter and I. Her father was, I believe, bipolar. From the time I knew him as a child until his suicide in 2008, I witnessed many instances of what I could relate to symptoms of bipolar disorder, namely, the highs and lows.
In retrospect, the manic episodes are what most attracted me to him: the outrageous sense of humor, the fun we had together, the incredible devotion. The lows are ultimately what drove us apart: the outbursts, the threats, the violence, the abuse.
While my daughter had limited contact with her father after he moved away at the age of 4 years old, she did experience that unfortunate side of him on some occasions. I was worried that watching the movie might bring those memories back, that they might upset her, that she might blame herself and others for not stepping in and forcing him into therapy.
So I watched the film alone.
Honestly, I liked Mighty Fine. I liked it a lot.
It was, in my opinion, an accurate portrayal of a family struggling with mental illness. And while Chazz Palminteri did a superb job showing what mental illness looks like – he scared me, he upset me, and he worried me – I found myself loving his character despite it all. He seemed like a good man who just didn’t know how to handle his issues.
The rest of the cast was wonderful; Andie McDowell as the mother struggling to cope with her troubled husband, Jodelle Ferland as the adolescent trying to make sense of it all, and Rainey Qualley, the teenager fighting to maintain her sanity while her father seems to be going off the deep end. I could relate to this story, I saw so many scenes that I remembered from my own dealings with my daughter’s father…except the ending in Mighty Fine was a good one.
I’ll be taking my daughter to see Mighty Fine now that it has opened in a local theater in Miami – it opened in select theaters May 25th, and you can find out if it’s playing near you here. I think this is a story that she will appreciate, as she still struggled with the aftermath of her father’s suicide, almost four years later.
After I finished watching the online screening of Mighty Fine, I was able to have a live chat with Chazz Palminteri and Jodelle Ferland! It was such an incredible experience to be able to ask questions and watch them as they answered.
You can watch the trailer for Mighty Fine here, and don’t forget to check here to see if Mighty Fine is playing in your city!
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Mighty Fine and the distributor. I received access to an online showing of the film and a promotional item to thank me for participating, but all opinions are my own.