|Index||2 reviews in total|
I saw 'A Broken Life' at a test screening in Toronto and overall I enjoyed it very much. The premise of a guy wanting to videotape his own suicide sounds pretty bleak but in fact, there's a lot of humor in the film and some pretty touching moments between Max and his filmmaker sidekick Bud. It was particularly interesting to see Tom Sizemore deliver a strong performance in a leading role and a real departure from what I've seen him in before. Some of the best moments are between Tom and the Vet played by Ving Rhames. There's also a great scene with Saul Rubinek. Following on from that thought, my major criticism is that the film occasionally feels like a series of vignettes but overall it's still a great ride.
A Broken Life stars Tom Sizemore as a hopelessly depressed dude who has the notion of killing himself, after he spends a whole day going around to visit the various people in his life, tie off loose ends, make amends and right some wrongs. It's a concept that could get silly, theatrical and self indulgent, but it's handled swimmingly enough here, mostly thanks to Sizemore's honest work that doesn't really mug for emotional payoff or squeeze pathos where there's nothing to mine. This is probably because he's usually the hoped up maniac who is putting other people in the morgue, and like I always say, casting actors against type brings out the best intuitive nature. He's also the lead, which means he gets to bring more than just a supporting dose of his power here, assisting the film greatly. He's joined by his assistant (Corey Sevier), who records the whole thing on a video camera, adding to the already indie flavor. His adventures include a visit to his old boss (Saul Rubinek) who mistreated him years earlier. Sizemore and Rubinek have faced off before in Tony Scott's True Romance, in kinetic fashion. Here they're just as electric, but reign it in a bit as the material requires, crafting one of the film's most effective scenes. Other ventures include a reunion with his estranged ex wife (Cynthia Dale), and frequent run ins with a sagely homeless man (Ving Rhames) who spouts a lot of benevolent wisdom that seems to be profound and nonsensical all at once. These type of films either work or they don't, plain and simple. They're either giant mopey ego balloons or terrific little eleventh hour character studies that come from a place of honesty. This one has a few off key notes of the former, but for the most part glides smoothly along the tracks of the latter category, thanks to Sizemore's committed performance.
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