“A nasty but satisfying story about two distraught men whose fate are intertwined.”
A merciless hitman and an invincible suicidal are the antiheroes of The Suicide Theory, a drama mixed with black comedy from Australian director Dru Brown. In this fast-paced tight thriller, one’s desire for death becomes another’s ticket to redemption and liberation. But in some form of predestination, their lives are entangled in more ways than they have realized.
The film opens intensely with Steven Ray (Steve Mouzakis) murdering a man who had interrupted his conversation with a salesman earlier. In fact, Steven is a vicious and impenitent contract killer. He does his job cleanly, leaving no witnesses unaccounted for. Three years later, he meets an unusually intriguing client.
Percival Wills (Leon Cain) is a man who badly wants to die, evident with the strange scars on his face. Chubby and gay, he believes he is cursed. His attempted suicides are failures as he always end up in the hospital bed with the doctor saying, “You’re lucky to be alive.” His fate changes when he jumps off a building and lands on a cab carrying Steven. With a large sum of money, he hires Steven to kill him, not immediately but only when he does not really want to die.
Steven betrays him and he shoots him three times at close range after their opening discussion. However, Percival survives. Steven tries shooting him in the head; still he lives minus one eye. He suffocates him on bed with his sexual partner but still he survives while the other guy dies.
Soon, the two develops a unique form of relationship. They discover each other’s emotional baggage which pushed them to become the person they are. While Percival is torn with the murder of his boyfriend Chris, Steven is distraught with the death of the only woman he loved in a hit-and-run accident. The trauma made Steven experience seizures and panic attacks when he tries to cross a street.
Consequently, Steven finds humanity and compassion while looking out for Percival. Just when he does not want to kill anymore, Steven uncovers painful truths that will test the kind of person he has become.
The Suicide Theory is a well-crafted story of predestined lives. Though events are coincidental, the film manages to be compelling because of its raw humanity and neat storytelling. Steven and Percival lead symmetrical lives, mirroring each other’s ache and melancholy. Each is lost but each gradually finds forgiveness and a sense of freedom from the other. The film is mostly strange and ditzy but in the long run, it is touching and deeply satisfying.
With its ominous atmosphere and dark vibe, the movie is shamelessly nasty with plenty of witty dialogues and wicked humor. It is interspersed with few flashbacks, giving us hints of both the past and future. It holds its pieces together until the film reaches a clear-cut ending, one with no stone left unturned.
The appealing performance of the two lead actors carried the film really well. Cain brings out the desperation, anguish and pain of Percival. He is both disturbing and moving. Meanwhile, Mouzakis brilliantly played the unhinged Steven. Initially rugged and vicious, he emerges as fragile and sympathizing as he grapples his own emotional battles. Mouzakis undoubtedly delivers a winning and powerful performance.
The Suicide Theory is an intensely gratifying tour-de-force. The actors, story and direction all work together to deliver this humble masterpiece. It is wicked but overwhelmingly heart-warming at the same time.