DIRECTOR: Henrique Couto STARRING: Moriah Yux, Mike Canestaro, David Neely
STORY: Multiple lives intersect in a darkly comic exploration of depression and loneliness.
While DEPRESSION: THE MOVIE is not in Henrique Couto’s usual genre territory, it still has the mien of a Couto film. It’s not typical comic drama, nor would I expect such from this distinctive director. Mingling the troubled, lonely lives of several young people into a single narrative – and revealing their connections in the denouement – DEPRESSION examines not just the awkward romantic dynamics that exist when two people don’t share the same emotional vision but, indeed, the very essence of loneliness itself. Rather than philosophizing pretentiously, the film uses situational, character-based storytelling to conjure up the layers of loneliness that spur on the human heart. Like life, DEPRESSION finds no solutions, offers no perfectly wrapped conclusion, plot threads all tied up neat. The different threads – each the lifeline of one of the film’s major characters, pulled along by indifferent fate – are not so much beginning-to-end story arcs as they are sections of ongoing lives. We’ve stepped in for A Day In The Life and the point is not some presented problem solved in an hour-and-a-half but an incisive look at the means and modes of loneliness, heartache, the need for fulfillment in another human being (or such a need perceived). DEPRESSION is about how we hurt, deeply, and how we try to fix it instead of live with it, accept it and thereby mitigate it, hence the film’s story structure – it presents the problem but finds no solution. Like in the world outside movies, we have to figure that out for ourselves. But, if we watch closely, when the time comes for all these lives – each witnessed on the same day – to come together, the intersection itself reveals the truth. Life goes on. Keep living. And notice that every character’s story is parallel to the others’, each tale unfolding on the exact same day, multiple story threads converging on a single anticlimax (the real climax is in the subtext), with every character enduring some sort of pain of loss or missingness, every character in a different stage or kind of romantic tangle, each person coping with various non-romantic difficulties – all on the same day. This is indicative of how common such black vortices of the spirit really are – here is the human condition. There is the hurt of the heart. There are other pains and pangs of life, some personal, some life-threatening. And there is the hole in the soul toward which and from which it all swirls. Life is full of pain and the only answer there is is how we choose to answer back. Forge your own paradigm. Everybody from Satanists to existentialists, Eastern mystics to Western absurdists, say this and they speak truth. So does DEPRESSION: THE MOVIE, which ably fuses black comedy, heady drama and even suspense sequences into a brutally honest whole.
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