A thought-provoking and haunting exploration of how reality and dream-states may combine to form complex interactions. The line between the imagination and reality blurs when an accomplished Psychiatrist takes on a patient that appears to be suicidal. Written by
Have you heard of Stay? If you're here you must have but I'll bet it wasn't too long ago that you found out about it. It's a movie that came out late last year with little fanfare, was dismissed as a poor movie by critics and quickly ushered back out of theaters.
It's a crying shame.
It was a wonderful movie. My favorite type of movies are psychological horror movies. Favorites include: Jacob's Ladder, Mulholland Dr., Donnie Darko, and in a similar realm, Momento and Fight Club. I love seeing a good representation of the human mind on film and that is exactly what this film shows so well.
It's about a college student (Ryan Gosling) who tells his shrink (Ewan McGregor) that he is going to kill himself on the stroke of midnight this Saturday, leaving his shrink to enlist the help of his formerly suicidal girlfriend (Naomi Watts) to figure out why he wants to kill himself and how to stop him, while his world falls apart.
It's directed by Marc Forster of Monster's Ball and Finding Neverland fame. The movie has been called pretentious, shallow, ridiculous, bewildering, absurd, and empty by many reviewers. Personally I think that they didn't have the patience for it and/or were put off by its extravagant visuals and cuts. I thought it was great and deserves much more credit than it has received.
The movie's visual style is very interesting and jarring in a good way. It had me constantly saying to my girlfriend "did you see that?" Full of slight of the hand camera/editing tricks. Nearly everything in the movie is symbolic of other things or ideas in the movie. The acting is very good, especially among the lesser characters. Everything in the movie feels so unreal, but that is serves some purpose even if one couldn't know what it is right away. A second viewing would reveal many new things. In the end much of the movie is left up to interpretation and my girlfriend and I had a good conversation about our ideas on what things meant in the movie. After thinking about it for a day I'm pretty sure that I could explain everything in the movie, even what the hell is up with Ewan McGregor's pants, Why Gosling wanted to commit suicide and the twins and triplets.
It was fun was figuring out what the rest of the movie meant after seeing its end, the solution. The movie is like a code and the end is the decryption key. It differs from other "sixth sense" type surprise ending movies because everything you would see in the movie before the end would not act as a clue to what it all means or what the ending is. It's more like decrypting a diary than a problem with a solution to it.
Basically, any movie buff owes it to themselves to see this movie. I rented it but after seeing it I fully intend to purchase the DVD.
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