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.
A drama based on an ancient Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. A businessman bets his life on a horse race; a gangster sees the future; a pop star falls prey to a crime boss; a doctor must save the love of his life.
Sarah Michelle Gellar,
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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
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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2008's emotional bladder infection Twilight was created as a direct result of TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sarah Michelle Gellar was punished for her part in this with lead roles in both The Grudge and Scooby-Doo franchises. Now, freshly repentant and having reconciled with the film industry, she has returned to grace with an admirable performance in Emily Young's Veronika Decides to Die.
Based on the Paulo Coelho novel of the same name (in English anyway) Veronika Decides to Die is the story of a successful young woman, Veronika (played by Gellar) who tries to kill herself after deciding she is on a path towards a future she doesn't want. Unfortunately for her she fails and falls into a coma for several weeks, before being shipped to a mental institution where she is told damage incurred during the suicide bid will kill her within weeks.
Coelho's book focused on Veronika's freedom from constriction and her voyage of self-discovery as she came to terms with her imminent death and the freedom from responsibility that brought about. Young's film takes a more simplistic view and concentrates heavily on her love affair with Edward (Jonathan Tucker), a handsome young inmate who was struck silent after being involved a car accident. He is brooding and has pale skin. You don't see him outside during the day very much. He likes standing in the corner of darkened rooms. He's a wonderful artist.
Aside from similarities to her previous work, Gellar puts in a very strong performance as Veronika, although a confident supporting cast headed by Tucker as Edward and David Thewlis as the institution head Dr Blake help pull the film together during some of the duller moments.
As a serious exploration of anomie and the lack of control felt by many modern city-dwellers over their own lives, or a look at how removing the fear of death from our daily thoughts frees us, Veronika falls flat on its face. As a quirky little tale of love in a mental institution, it excels.
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