02 July 2015

THE SUICIDE THEORY

THE SUICIDE THEORY

Australia, 2014
Director: Dru Brown

8/10











Australian cinema never fails to surprise me (at least, most of the time...
I'm looking at you, "Fury Road"...) with interesting variations of well-known, well-trodden concepts, and this movie makes no exception. "The Suicide Theory", the second feature film of young filmmaker Dru Brown, is a fascinating, remarkably unique and totally non-Ozploitative drama-thriller, telling the amazing story of Percival, a marked, suicidal man who hires a depressed, unhappy serial killer in order to kill him. To Steven's shock, Percival survives the assault. Even weirder, Percival is deeply convinced that he is unable to die and can't get killed, even though he wishes to die so, so hard. Steven tries and tries and tries, but Percival always comes to life, every time sadder and unluckier than before. They build a bizarre, yet strong friendship that changes both their lifes in ways they wouldn't even dream of...


From the very beginning, I was drawn into the odd, but immensely intriguing plot, not just because it's so unique, but also because it's told in a really intelligent, highly intriguing and refreshingly serious way, carefully introducing the viewer to many unforeseeable and staggering plot twists along its way to an emotionally super-shocking ending. The twists aren't your average cheap, gimmicky "Gotcha!"-turns. They all possess a tremendous quality and come off as really clever, thanks to screenwriter Michael J. Kospiah who seems to be a damn smart cookie!

I loved the eclectic storyline, and I love how complex the two main characters are. Percival is not just an odd guy with some kinda superpower, he's actually a sensitive and very vulnerable homosexual guy whose life became a disaster after his boyfriend got killed, and obviously got even worse after he tried to kill himself over and over again, until he realized that he is basically 'unkillable'. Percival's a broken man with countless scars, not just in his face, but all over his damaged soul, and he just wants to die.


Same for Steven. At first he seems to be just another clich├ęd serial killer, a lonesome wolf with a stone-cold heart who kills for money and doesn't care if the things he does are wrong or right - but then we get to know that he was once a normal happy guy, until his pregnant wife got road-killed, an incident that turned him into a shell of a man who's extremely anxious of crossing streets and who takes way too many trips down memory lane.

Thanks to Brown's very competent direction, the dialogue-heavy film never becomes boring, even though a few scenes might be a tad too tedious, but the sympathetic characters and the extraordinary build-up perfectly manage to keep you glued to the screen. I was also very impressed by the movie's sinister atmosphere that is so incredibly non-Australian (if it wasn't for the dialect, this could take place in every other megacity...), the brooding electro music and the mesmerizing cinematography. Also, acting-wise, everyone gives a very solid performance, especially main actors Steve Mouzakis and Leon Cain.


"The Suicide Theory" is an odd but tremendously compelling movie from down under. Highly recommended!


Thanks to Rob Fleming (Prodigy PR) for the screener!

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