Monday, May 22, 2006

WRISTCUTTERS - Slight but enjoyable slip of an indie movie

In some ways, WRISTCUTTERS is everything its name promises. It's a quirky and not very serious take on a very serious topic. Yet the movie does manage to challenge some of your expectations. For example, it isn't just about wristcutters. It's also about self electrocuting musicians, depressed kids with a fondness for rope and a whole range of other characters not so enamored of this little world of ours. As punishment, they all end up in a place that might be purgatory or something a lot like it. It's a depressed world where no one can smile and everything is even more miserable than the real world and it's populated entirely with people who have committed suicide. Imagine trying to fall in love in that screwed up world.

Our characters, quirky and endearing indie movie types, manage it pretty well. Our protagonists, Patrick Fugit (playing the befuddled introvert these movies insist on) and the very pretty Shannyn Sossamon play their parts well. There are more charming and memorable characters though, including the Russian with the admirably bleak worldview, a throat singing Eskimo girl and a mysterious chap that Tom Waits shows up to play. Yet the best part of Wristcutters is its hokey but fun initial premise. The world in which the movie is set is appropriately bizzare and taking in its contours and meeting its characters and anticipating the curves it throws out is the best part of the movie. The movie is mostly convincing in its initial conceit and there is a great deal of absurd humor to keep you engaged. Overall, WRISTCUTTERS is a slight but enjoyable little movie that says absolutely nothing about suicide even as it mines it for uncomfortable but real laughs.

WRISTCUTTERS played Sundance and many other festivals. It goes on limited release in the US in August 2007.

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