Wednesday, 22 April 2009
In these bleak economic times we all need a boost now and again but you certainly won’t get it watching this macabre downer!
The film opens with a young man getting out of bed and tidying up his bomb site of a flat. With everything now tidied up we see him in the bathroom having slashed his wrists and bleeding to death. At least he’s somewhat considerate to the next tenant!
He awakes in another world fully aware that he’s killed himself and knowing that he’s now in an after life reserved for suicide victims. The place is just like home but a bit bleaker with the colours washed out and no one allowed to smile. He gets a job in a pizza parlour and meets Yan who is fortunate to have all his family around him given that they all killed themselves in separate incidents.
Our man, Zia, leans that his former girlfriend has killed herself (there’s a lot of it about) and convinces his new friend to go on a road trip to find her. Along the way they encounter Desiree who feels she’s wrongly been placed in this world and is seeking out those in charge so that she may be returned to the land of the living.
As their journey progresses they encounter a self styled Messiah (Will Arnett) and Tom Waits whose record keeping job may yet save the day.
This is a strange and depressing film that will doubtless appeal to emo types and few others. I like Patrick Fugit in ‘Almost Famous’ but he can’t carry the lead role here, lacking any empathy whatsoever. Most of the cast are quite introspective and are more annoying than sympathetic. Naturally as a bunch of suicidal youths they can’t be shown as bundles of joy but a bit of warmth would have gone a long way to engaging this viewer.
No explanations are given for the reality our cast find themselves in with black holes in car floors and free floating matches just accepted as the norm. There is ample room for speculation and I’m sure the film maker’s intention was for us to draw our own conclusions. Sadly the only one I reached was that I wished they’d all made better jobs of those suicide attempts!
There were some nice touches such as the real world being a couple of shades brighter that the purgatory world and I liked that the soundtrack was full of suicidal singers like Ian Curtis and Del Shannon. I also liked that the victims brought the scars of their suicide with them with one chap revealing the shot gun hole in his head when he took his hat off. It was a bit inconsistent however as those who had jumped off buildings weren’t puddles of goo!
I liked the idea of the film and hoped that the warm glow of redemption would wash over me at the end. Sadly the self importance of the film and the needy characters meant that it left me reaching for the pills rather than putting them away!
Best Bit : Suicidal flashbacks