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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

The Suicide Theory movie review: to die or not to die

The Suicide Theory green light

Guilt, grief, and forgiveness get wrapped up in a Twilight Zone-ish shroud of fate in this downbeat trifle of a crime drama.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Percival (Leon Cain) wants to die, and he just can’t manage to do the job himself. It’s not a matter of him being unable to summon the nerve to kill himself: he has tried, many times. But he always survives, in seemingly miraculous ways. In ways that have doctors shaking their heads in wonder and marveling, “You’re lucky to be alive” (and not noticing that this upsets their patient). So Percival hires professional killer Steve (Steve Mouzakis: I, Frankenstein) to take care of the chore. Still Percival won’t die… and now Percival is convinced there’s a reason for this that connects the two men in some mysterious shared destiny. There are some black-comedy elements at play here, but this is mostly a drama about guilt, grief, and forgiveness wrapped up in aTwilight Zone-ish shroud of fate. And while the script, by first-timer Michael J. Kospiah, stumbles a tad into predictability as it unravels the secrets of the two men, the direction, by Australian Dru Brown in his sophomore effort, is strikingly elegant, as are the performances by Cain and Mouzakis, buoyed by their palpable chemistry onscreen. This ultimately isn’t much more than a trifle, if a downbeat one, but you won’t mind at all.

green light 3.5 stars

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The Suicide Theory (2015)
US/Can release: Jul 10 2015 (VOD same day)

MPAA: rated R for strong violence, language and some sexual content

viewed on my iPad

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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