Monday, April 27, 2009

Wilbur

A while ago I said I'd let you know when the review for Flashback Forward was available. You can find it on the Otago Daily Times site - just scroll through the various short reviews.

Last night we caught up with the quirky movie, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself. That it was shown at all given the current media tendency to avoid films and TV shows that talk about suicide was something of a miracle. Even more so since the film not only shows Wilbur trying to kill himself at least three or four times (he's already tried several other times), but also has his brother kill himself at the end (he's already dying of cancer, but that's not quite the point).

Apparently it was advertised as a comedy (!) prior to its showing on TV last night. Yes, it certainly has some very funny moments, and the characters have a great tendency to respond to someone else's lines with something seemingly inconsequential, but comedy? Only in the sense that it has a kind of happy ending.

Apart from suicide there was the deceit factor: Wilbur's brother, Harbour, doesn't tell anyone he has cancer - it's left to a hospital worker to blurt it out at a dinner; and Wilbur's wife (their marriage is very short-lived), who loves him dearly, is also passionately in love with Wilbur - and the brother never finds this out. Or perhaps he suspects it, but there's no confrontation scene.

The wife is the catalyst character - along with her ten-year-old daughter. They restore what's well and truly broken in the brothers' family, but it's not quite in the way you'd call straightforwardly moral. I guess the thing the movie has going for it is that it never follows our expectations; and it offers a damaged personality (who has immense charm, it must be admitted) and manages to bring him through a crisis time. How realistic this might be in real life is another issue; although the effect his suicide attempts have on other people is realistic enough.
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