Monday, 22 September 2014

"A Long Way Down" Review | Movie Monday

*Trigger warning for suicide*

Martin (Pierce Brosnan), Maureen (Toni Collette), Jess (Imogen Poots), and JJ (Aaron Paul) meet on a rooftop on New Year's Eve. Each of them has come to commit suicide. Rather than jump, the unlikely foursome makes a pact to not kill themselves until Valentine's Day - six weeks from now.

This film deals heavily with suicide and depression, and shows four people - all from very different walks of life - and how their life experiences have affected them and led them all to the same rooftop.

I love this movie. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love movies that make me cry. I think it's the mark of a good story if it can touch me emotionally, find a place deep down where I can relate to the characters' feelings and not only sympathize with them, but truly understand why they feel the way they do.

I found all four characters lovable in their own way. Martin is the bitter grump whose quips you can't help but enjoy; Maureen is reserved and has such a warm heart; Jess is loud-mouthed and a bit neurotic, just wanting someone to love and pay attention to her; and JJ is a very sweet, but utterly lost man. Each is portrayed brilliantly by the actors - I think the casting is perfect in this movie.

I think it's important to keep in mind that this is a work of fiction. A chance meeting of suicidal people on a rooftop wouldn't likely end well in real life. But this story is very hopeful and leaves the audience thinking that perhaps things do get better. Their friendship has by no means cured anyone of their depression, seeing as it's a chemical imbalance in the brain. But it made something twig in each of them, made them realize there might be a reason to keep going.

Another great thing about A Long Way Down is that it's based on a book, so you know I'll be reading that soon!

Our four protagonists have almost nothing in common aside from their suicidal thoughts. And yet, when they find each other on that roof, something changes. This is a very sweet, moving film about four people who find hope and love in the most unlikely place - each other.

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