An average, calm mid-20s girl named Veronica restarts her dead dating life all of the sudden, but with two guys: a sensitive failed writer named Abel and an airheaded drummer named Zed. At ... See full summary »
Jordan White and Amy Blue, two troubled teens, pick up an adolescent drifter, Xavier Red. Together, the threesome embark on a sex and violence-filled journey through an America of psychos and quickiemarts.
Gregg Araki is certainly one of the strangest directors ever to emerge in the genre of independent filmmaking, and "The Living End" is no exception to his unique style, which is reminiscent of Jean-Luc Goddard while maintaining an individuality that makes it clearly a film by Araki. I've heard the film described as a "gay 'Thelma & Louise,'" but I think this to be inaccurate. This film I think is far more powerful than "Thelma & Louise." Two HIV positive gay men, one the sensible-living perfectly normal Jon, the other the free-wheeling hustler Luke, who from the very first shot in the film we can tell has totally given up as he graffitis "F**k the World" on the wall. More typical Araki catches phrases run rampant throughout the film as these two men go on a road trip around the west coast trying to find something worth their time. What makes the film so powerful is the presentation of its message, rather than the message itself. The difference between sex and real love is subtlely explored as the relationship between Jon and Luke grows more and more complicated, as Luke's hairtrigger attitude often gets them in trouble and Jon steadily wanting to give up love to continue his life for as long as he can and as responsibly as he can, though it never seems to work. Sometimes it's not so subtle, but for the most part the notion of love between these two people is so skillfully handled that the air of sadness that hangs over them just resonates, in spite of the large number of humorous moments. The ending is so brutally sad, though totally unexpected. I won't give it away but you'll have to see it for yourself, it is a wonderful movie. It certainly is not for all tastes. However, if you can appreciate good cinema, then I think this film will not disappoint you. You might not like it, but it is a very powerful film.
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