Posted by: da_nibbler | March 22, 2014

Review: ‘A Long Way Down’

A Long Way DownLondon. New Year’s Eve. The top of a high-rise. Great view. But that’s not why Martin Sharp is here. Or why he brought the ladder currently bridging a pit of barbwire to the very edge of the tower. Topper’s Tower that is. Martin is having a party of one, saying goodbye to the past year. Before he can take his last step into the void he is interrupted by likeminded Maureen, inquiring if he’s “going to be long”. Foulmouthed Jess would like to borrow the ladder once he’s done and JJ wonders if anyone ordered pizza cos, you guessed it, he’s a pizza delivery guy. As four is a crowd and with the moment gone everyone abandons their plans and instead forms a pact to abstain from killing themselves until Valentine’s Day.

And so an unlikely new family is formed and a narrative born. The “Topper House Four” turn into a media sensation, which takes its toll on this already dysfunctional family. Nothing like a holiday to take the edge off, create more drama and bring everything out in the open. All the while Valentine’s Day is creeping closer and closer.

I was pleasantly surprised how entertaining a film about people wanting to commit suicide can be. Sounds bizarre? Is bizarre. But it works thanks to the charming performances by Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots and Aaron Paul. This film is entirely built upon its characters. If you don’t care about any of the people involved you won’t care about the film. The sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek approach taken with this particular type of story is also not for everyone. This is not a light-hearted comedy. Certain parts of the story could be quite unsettling for some. Overall the film has a hopeful, uplifting tone but it definitely visits some dark places. We get a window into the lives of these four very different people and the challenges they face. This is shown in individual, episodic pieces for each character and as expected something happens that brings them all together again for the resolution.

Some of the most important friends we make in life are not the ones we seek but the ones that just happen. When we feel the most alone there is still always someone that is in the same place as us, can relate to us, understands us. There is always something beyond the horizon. There is always hope. And that is what this film is about. Sometimes we just need to have that pointed out to us. Maybe by someone we meet on Topper’s Tower.

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