Wristcutters: A Love Story
By: Keirsten Johnson
Keirsten Johnson is a local guitarist and writer. She is also a music production major in SPC’s Music Industry and Recording Art program.
Have you ever wondered about where we go when we die? What about if we chose to end our lives voluntarily? Well, Wristcutters: A Love Story provides an interesting outlook on what is known as purgatory. The story begins in a very dank, dark and depressing apartment with the main character, Zia (Patrick Fugit), lying in bed contemplating his life. He looks around his room at the pile of clothes that has consumed what used to be a floor which he eventually begins to clean. As a Tom Waits album plays, the scene moves quickly showing the transformation of his apartment. When he finally finished, Zia walks into his bathroom and stares at the mirror. Soon the scene becomes blurry and Zia falls to the floor and is eventually lying in a pool of blood that is pouring from his wrist.
So why did Zia decided to choose another way out? Well, it was over a girl named Desiree, the love of his life. She left him because she didn’t see the relationship going anywhere anymore; it had lost its thrill. So Zia did what some people decided to do when they can no longer live with the agony; and now he is in purgatory which he describes as “the same but a little worse” – the perfect punishment. This purgatory is not where you go to be purified. This purgatory is more like hell but instead of burning in internal flames, you live in a very desolate town with others who have had the same outcome.
Zia works at a place called Kamikaze Pizza and shares an apartment with an Austrian guy named Eric. His life is now more mundane than it was when he was actually living. Zia thought about suicide again but he figured he’d end up in a place worse than the one he is already in. The worst part about his suicide is that it made him miss Desiree more which deepened his depression more. He constantly wondered what she was doing, if she were sad that he was gone; if she had moved on.
One day in the only bar in town, Zia met a man named Eugene (Shea Whigham) who lived with his younger brother, mother and father. They were the only family that Zia had heard of in that town. Eugene would be the one to travel with Zia on his adventure to find Desiree. One day Zia ran into an old friend at the store while he was buying cottage cheese for Eric. This friend had told him that he couldn’t understand why he was still alive so maybe he should off himself as well. He told Zia that Desiree killed herself about a month after he had so Zia made it a mission to find her. As Zia and Eugene drive aimlessly they run into girl named Mikal (Shannyn Sossamon). She explained to them that she had come to town by mistake and that she was trying to find the people in charge to explain her situation.
The three of them find themselves in a world wind of adventure, mystery, magic and heartache. As they drive they run into a few interesting characters; one being played by the deviously charming Tom Waits. This movie, although the premise is not as original as one may think, is unique in its own fashion. The director, Goran Dukic, gives a very dark and light-hearted twist to suicide. There is comedy, heartache, and mystery in this film and to be honest, who could ask for anything more? This movie is satire and sarcasm at its best. The way the actors portray emotions is exactly how you would think it would be in such a depressing place. They never really smile and their expressions are usually blank. Wristcutters: A Love Story is not a movie for everyone but I believe it is a must see. It provides a different outlook on life and forces you to evaluate your own. Do not take life for granted and always remember, things are never as bad as they seem.