Stutz review: When the therapist swaps places with the patient

‘Stutz’ sees actor Jonah Hill document his experiences in life, his struggles, and efforts to overcome said struggles while conversing with his therapist Phil Stutz — the man whose therapy tools helped the actor a great deal.

Story

Stutz takes the viewers into the intimate and the vulnerable side to Jonah Hill. The documentary film opens with him sitting across his therapist Phil Stutz.

Throughout the runtime, the two men try and dig into each other’s psyche and the heart, succeeding in their efforts and getting breakthroughs in the process.

Stutz flips the script a number of times, steering the direction of the film towards Hill and his experiences. The swap the therapist-patient roles several times as heartfelt admissions and even discoveries are made.

The two men also focus on a main element that the therapist uses in his sessions, they call them tools. These tools help the patient visualise their problem, and change their inner state immediately, in real time.

They also talk about the therapist’s own past and his own struggles with a tumultuous childhood, experiencing and processing his brother’s death, and the insecurity around women in younger years.

Positives

The documentary film is one of a kind, and probably the first of its kind as well, where the process of therapy and the participators involved consent to make their very intimate and vulnerable interaction public.

It’s a heartfelt and at times, heart-wrenching affair that inspires throughout its runtime, inviting the viewer into this safe space where anyone can be vulnerable even if they’re relating to the struggles being represented on screen.

The themes are universal here and almost everyone can relate to loss, pain, uncertainty and the anxieties that they bring with them.

Hill and his lovely and just as vulnerable champ of a therapist are two brave men who aren’t afraid to confront themselves and their feelings.

That’s where the secondary focus of the film, Jonah Hill himself, really shines.

He recalls of the times where he suffered a rough patch with the media and how he was portrayed by it while internal struggles and mental turmoil was all that he had going on inside of him.

A childhood parallel between the two is also etched out, as is the similarity they share in terms of their relationships with their mothers.

While Hill gets to sit across his mother and open up in a way and quantity he can’t in any other setting, Stutz reminisces and wonders how he would have shared his feelings with his late mother.

It’s also just as inspiring as it’s moving to see him thrive despite the old age and the Parkinson’s disease, possibly emulating the fact of reality — ‘constant work’ — as the driving force.

Negatives

The only negative about the documentary film is that its brevity only deprives the viewers of some more time with the lovable titular therapist. Everyone can do better with some more Phil in their life, or atleast their screens.

Verdict

Stutz is a work of utter honesty and vulnerability that sees the participants lay it straight and lay it bare on the screen, for everyone to not only see but connect, relate and reflect on the experiences and feeling that affect us all.

Stutz
Stutz review: When the therapist swaps places with the patient 1

Director: Jonah Hill

Date Created: 2022-11-14 13:30

Editor's Rating:
4.5

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