A Long Way Down

July 26, 2016


A Long Way Down is an interesting plot, centered around the serendipitous juncture of the suicidal on the most miserable day of the year, New Year’s Eve. It seems fitting that the beginning of a new cycle of life gravitates the suicidal, those who want to escape that cycle, toward self-murder. The voice over by the shamed and defamed Martin leads us to the rooftop and his justification for running away from life: it uncontrollably became difficult for him to bear.


This is to mention that having to live a life of obscurity became overbearing. It was not that he suffered inextricably similar to the harshest suffering in the world, say in a North Korean POW camp. It was then a lack of perspective that his life is good after all which led him to create the story in the first place with three other suffering souls. All of them necessarily do not find any meaning in the suffering, which makes their life not worth living.


This is understandable in the age of the Last Man, where he cannot make sense and therefore meaning out of his life. Hence his aversion to pain, as he unconscientiously is avoiding having to confront whether his life is worth possessing at all. This is clearly an inferior morality, as he prefers not to confront reality and he has the luxury to do so.


Each of these persons would be dead if they did not intrude on their self-imposed death sentences. And what keeps them alive temporarily is a pact amongst them to stay alive at least for a few more months. In the interim, we see the same possession of lifelessness that they had before – it is a simple wallowing that is mistaken as breathing. But inevitably, they do find their lives meaningful in each particular way. And this is because they were able to find other souls who had similar experiences. Or, souls who could value what they were and had been enduring. They were validated by others which gave them a reason to live, which is a reason to give.


Technically, this film was trying to be too common to reach very sharp and sophisticated dramatic points. The meditation above could have been amplified and resonated powerfully, to the point that the film itself could be used as a psycho therapeutic for the suicidal, so they can receive the message that it is possible for them to be meaningful to the world. Unfortunately, the film bends too much toward the comedic for the masses, which are looking for an escape versus a confrontation with truth.


Grade: C+



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