Wristcutters: A Love Story | DVD Review

Life Is A Trip, but the Afterlife is One Hell of a Ride By Cheryl Kobs Staff Writer
            Based on the short story “Kneller’s Happy Campers a.k.a. Pizzeria Kamikaze” by Etgar Keret, the movie is not an instruction annual for the social impaired, as the title might indicate. Wristcutters is actually a lighthearted, enlightening and often quirky spin on life after suicide and coping with not living.             From the onset of the film we feel the sense of humor present throughout that leaves a half-smile on your face as you watch. The movie opens with our main character, Zia (Patrick Fugit, Almost Famous), lying in bed simply staring off into space. He reaches over, moves the bar on his turntable to listen to an album again, and gets out of bed. We watch as Zia cleans the room from atrocious to OCD clean, down to the remotes being lined up in descending size parallel to each other on the desk. The camera then follows Zia into the bathroom where we see him staring in the mirror over a sink full of blood and then falls to he floor. As Zia lies on the floor bleeding to death, he looks in the corner of the bathroom and sees a dust bunny floating across the floor. Damn. Then for the first time we hear Zia’s voice, “I think she cried at my funeral. I don’t want to brag but I think she cried. I like to imagine her talking about me to some guy she feels real close to about how she never got to say goodbye. And she cries and he holds her and then he fucks her real nice. The kind of fuck that’s all about making her feel good.” Welcome to Wristcutters: A Love Story.

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            We then see Zia as he walks through this distorted version of an afterlife for suicides. Most easily explained as purgatory, everything is the same as it is in our world, just a little worse. Probably the worst punishment for people who just wanted to make it all go away. He works a dead-end job and sleeps on someone’s couch. We are introduced to interesting characters throughout the film. When we meet a new character, we see the way that they offed themselves in a flashback. Eugene, a character based on the lead singer of the band Gogol Bordello, offs himself by electrocution via his electric guitar after screaming “fuck it all” to the crowd during a show. Totally smirk worthy. We also meet Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon, A Knight’s Tale) we don’t see her suicide until much later in the film. Well it really isn’t a suicide, as insisted by Mikal herself. She simply overdosed, not committed suicide. The characters set off on a road trip, in a car with oddly broken headlights and a black hole under the passenger seat, to try to find Zia’s ex girlfriend, the one who got fucked real nice.             I really like this movie. It is an interesting perspective on purgatory, for lack of a better term. It’s not fire and brimstone. It is not an outright damnation of suicide, but a reserved acceptance that it is something that happens with casual regularity in this modern world. No on in the film is grossed out by the concept, and they are all accepting of the act that got them there. Everything in the afterlife is a little more worn down and dirty, like the way we see the word when exceptionally depressed. Even through all of that, the film is comfortable. The situations are approachable and relatable with out being unreal. You walk away from the film with a smirk on your face. You are not laughing out loud, but it is a little easier to breathe knowing that you are still on the right side of the dirt. The film is a deterrent from suicide not by condemning the act, but by pointing out that no matter how shitty we think life is, we still have the small things we take for granted like the stars and smiles. It is a love story first. Zia has a second chance at love, even in the afterlife. There are always second chances.