A sad sounding, quirky movie
Far from what one would call a “traditional” road trip story, the movie Wristcutters: A Love Story
, is by far my favorite. While the movie has quite a bleak title and beginning, it is actually a sweet, funny love story that takes place in limbo. The film focuses on Zia, a young man who kills himself during the first scene in the movie. After his death, Zia ends up in a type of limbo for other people who have committed suicide. The world he has found himself in is dark and bland, as one would expect. Zia becomes friends with Eugene and they spend quite a bit of time together. Zia later learns that his girlfriend in life has also just committed suicide, so Zia asks Eugene to drive him around limbo to try and find her. Eugene drives an old beat up car that has a black hole in it, literally. Once something falls into the hole, it disappears forever and nobody knows where it goes.
On their way, they pick up a hitchhiker, a girl named Mikal. During the course of their travel, Zia and Mikal fall in love. Like most road trip stories, they have car trouble, meet some crazy townies and even end up running into a cult. They find Zia’s girlfriend with the cult, but he realizes that he doesn’t love her and he loves Mikal. However, the two get separated at the cult meeting and he isn’t able to find her. Time goes by and Zia learns that Mikal “returned to life.” Zia then has an idea. He goes to Eugene’s car and jumps into the black hole in the passengers seat.
After going through the hole, Zia wakes up in a hospital bed and learns that his attempt had actually failed and that he was still alive. He thought the whole journey in limbo had been a dream, but then he looks over to the bed next to him and Mikal is lying there. She smiles, recognizing him and then it fades to the credits.
This film is about rebirth and recreating yourself, which is a concept that has come up in all of the road trip stories that we have read. The people tend to find themselves when travelling, and that is no different in this film. In Wristcutters
, the only difference is that the rebirth is a much more literal one. These people who were not having an easy time, were given a new lease on life because of this journey that they embark on, both into limbo and in limbo. The characters find a new appreciation for life on this road trip and though it, are given a second chance to go back to the “real world” and do it over again. The roads they travel in limbo are pretty bare, but they meet a lot of different types of people, and by learning about how each one of them ended up there, they learn more about themselves. Even though it isn’t a typical road trip movie, I still think it still manages incorporate the usual themes seen.
PS the trailer is a little intense at the beginning...