International Writers Magazine:
A Love Story
Writer: Etgar Keret, Goran Dukic
Starring: Patrick Fugit, Shea Whigham, Shannyn Sossamon
Calvin Hussey review
judge a book, or DVD as it were, by its cover the title "Wristcutters"
doesnt exactly conjure up the most positive of images. In
fact, when the films leading protagonist Zia (Patrick Fugit) puts
on a Tom Waits record, cleans his apartment and, just as the opening
titles display, proceeds to slash his wrists in the bathroom, you
may be forgiven for thinking that "Wristcutters" is nothing
more than a bleak tale of suicide and despair.
However, from the
moment you witness Zia sprawled lifelessly amongst a puddle of his own
blood, the film manifests itself as an unusually uplifting, offbeat,
romantic comedy set in a purgatory tailor-made for those ill-fated souls
who choose to end it all.
Unfortunately for Zia, this new existence turns out to be a lot like
the life he renounced, but just "a little bit worse". Its
a dreary place strongly resembling the dusty shanty towns of the American
west; a place where the dusty streets are lined with broken-down cars,
the stars dont shine, and a smile is a seemingly unattainable
memory. Zia eventually befriends Eugene (Shea Whigham), an irritable,
yet endearing, ex-rock star from Russia.
the two embark on a road trip to find Zias ex-girlfriend after
discovering that she followed in his own self destructive footsteps.
During their travels they meet up with eventual love interest Mikal
(Shannyn Sossamon), an attractive young girl in search of whoever
is in charge to convince them that she was sent there by mistake.
Adapted from the
1998 novella "Knellers Happy Campers" by Etgar Keret,
this intriguing and unmistakably eccentric tale proves to be a promising
debut for director and screenwriter Goran Dukik. Dukik inspires fantastic
performances from the whole cast and, combined with Vanja Cernjul's
beautifully dreary cinematography, successfully brings the pages of
Kerats original work to life. Beyond the fantastic direction,
and performances from the films leads, other personal highpoints include;
Tom Waits darkly comic supporting role as broken-down spiritual
guru Kneller, and a selection of infectious tracks from Gogol Bordello
that supply the sound of Eugenes old band. For me, "Wristcutters:
A Love Story" was a truly unforgettable and pleasurable experience.
It is quite literally unlike any other film you will see and, due to
this fact, is sure to emerge as a popular cult favourite for years to
© Calvin Calvin May 2008
Calvin is a Creative Writing student at the University of Portsmouth
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