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Veronika Decides to Die (2009)

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After a frantic suicide attempt, Veronika awakens inside a mysterious mental asylum. Under the supervision of an unorthodox psychiatrist who specializes in controversial treatment, Veronika learns that she has only weeks to live.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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The story centers on Veronika, a woman in her mid twenties who appears to have everything: good looks, good job and a great life ahead of her. Yet she decides to end her own life. She is unsuccessful and awakens in a mental hospital where she learns that she has only a short time to live. However in the hospital she meets people who are only 'insane' because they don't always follow society's rules. With little left to lose, Veronika embarks on a journey on which she frees herself to experience relationships and emotions and ultimately discovers what it means to live. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For Veronika, confronting death...is discovering life. See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 January 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Veronika Decide Morrer  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kate Bosworth was originally cast as Veronika but was replaced by Sarah Michelle Gellar. See more »


Veronika: [first lines]
Veronika: Well, let's see. After you decide that I'm depressed, or whatever, you'll put me on meds, right? Well I know hundreds of people on them and they're all doing just fine. Really. I'll go back to work on my new anti-depressants, have dinner with my parents and persuade them I'm back to being the normal one who never gives them any trouble. And one day some guy will ask me to marry him. He'll be nice enough. That'll make my parents very happy. The first year we'll make love all the ...
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Version of Veronika (2009) See more »


written by Raymond Ramos & Miguel Gonzalez
performed by Ray West
published by Sunset on Brooklyn (ASCAP) & Purple Studio Productions (BMI)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Life-Affirming, Something Beautiful
2 May 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews


The cinematic year has a specific formula it follows in order for films to extract the biggest financial profit possible or to compete in the winter award season. Summers are an optimal time to release studio blockbusters, in particular superhero adaptations, and the fall through winter is dominated by critically extolled projects, hunting for prestigious industry prizes. During the dawn of a new year, the movie theater is a desolate place to spend your time and money. Until 2015 straps on its brawny filmmaking gear, a prolific amount of entertaining movies will not be found at the cinema. But there are always alternatives. One project that skipped a theatrical run that is newly available via Amazon Instant Video or On Demand is "Veronika Decides to Die," something that could fill your need for a compelling, artful piece of film.

"Veronika Decides to Die" tells a story of redemption in a mercilessly raw way, through the eyes of Veronika Deklava, a young woman living in New York City. Veronika is talented, attractive, financially stable, and has parents who love her, yet after opening the film with a cynical view on a life that may lie ahead of her, she decides to overdose on sleeping pills with clear attempts of killing herself. Fate undercuts Veronika's plans when she wakes up strapped to a hospital bed days after her attempt at taking her own life. Dr. Blake greets Veronika, welcoming her to Villette, a privately funded psychiatric facility. He informs her that her suicide attempt was not completely unsuccessful: Her heart is not able to withstand long-term survival, and it will stop beating within the next week.

The events behind the film's release are disheartening, especially after seeing the substance and quality "Veronika Decides to Die" brings to the table. It was developed based on Paulo Coelho's revered novel, but was updated to be more accessible to American audiences. The independently financed "Veronika Decides to Die" was released in many European countries in 2009 and 2010, but unfortunately never found theatrical distribution in the United States. You probably have never heard of "Veronika Decides to Die," but accredit that to a bizarre mishap in the system, not any lapse in the film's quality.

"Veronika Decides to Die" was not made with the nuts and bolts of bigger-budgeted projects; therefore it moves in a slower velocity, which effectively unites the cinematic version of the fable more innately with the internally detailed novel. Director Emily Young envisions the film differently than had it been directed by a man; there's a powerful sense of poetry rooted in this tale because of the way Young merges the shots together, specifically with help from the cinematographer and composer. Individually, their efforts may not look formidable, but together their simple intentions assemble something beautiful.

After the legendary success of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," Sarah Michelle Gellar shifted gears in her career for several years, perusing smaller films that she felt more passionate about. "Veronika Decides to Die" was the last of Gellar's several attempts to break free as a more sophisticated actress, and it's an incredible acting performance that allows her to reconstruct herself as an artist. Affecting, psychological, and authentic, this is the kind of performance that would reconfigure the way Gellar is viewed in the industry.

Gracefully undertaking the life-affirming messages and potent themes that Coehlo expressed in his 1998 novel, the film asks us questions about life, the way we see ourselves, and the limits we often set which often impede on our happiness. The screenplay by Larry Gross makes this story's transition from page to screen smooth and cogent. It will capture you from the grimmer introductory scenes to the uplifting climax.

It is available through Amazon, Amazon Instant Video, and Video On Demand.

* * * * / * * * *

Grade: A

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