With Suicide Tourist you could have worked through one of the most socially sensitive issues in society today – suicide. Instead, the film starts a fireworks display for all those in the cinemas who already suffer from a preload.
But let's start from the beginning. In Suicide Tourist we accompany the insurance agent Max. Due to his constantly growing tumor, he is in a serious existential crisis. After several failed suicide attempts, he comes across an alternative at work. A missing husband seems to have gone to a hotel – the Hotel Aurora. It is a very remote resort that supports people with suicide. Max goes there to give his life a supposedly good ending.
The film is the work of Jonas Alexander Arnby. In 2014 he directed When Animals Dream, an extremely controversial film. With his latest film, however, he turns away from the horror genre and goes into the realms of drama. According to the synopsis of the film, Suicide Tourist should be a wake-up call and a film that has a positive attitude towards life. However, one misses this goal far.
The main role is played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who is best known for his role as Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones, but you won't get a masterpiece here. Coster-Waldau plays the introverted husband extremely authentically, but the narrative structure, as well as the message conveyed, is not understandable or even reprehensible.
Distorted suicide tourism
As the title shows, the film is about suicide tourism, i.e. traveling to countries where euthanasia is available. However, the big problem begins with this topic: The film is not about classic euthanasia. Euthanasia, which is frequently discussed in politics, is understood in the general sense to mean that the seriously ill are let die. There are different forms, but the model is always used in situations without alternatives and in severe pain.
It is different in Suicide Tourist. Max lives with a tumor in his head, but at no stage that would restrict him in his normal everyday life. This means that there is no alternative and no strong suffering. This is exacerbated by the Ari embodied by Robert Aramayo. Whose age is not mentioned in the film, but the actor is 27 years old. Like Max, he is a visitor to the Aurora Hotel. Only Ari has no (clinical) illness.
Ari suffers from self-loathing. He describes it in a conversation with Max by saying that he cannot be alone with himself and that life then has no meaning. This would have been the perfect time for the film to position itself. In this situation, distancing and classification should have taken place. Instead, you are silent. Max takes Ari in his arms and shows him the Northern Lights – rejection looks different.
Although Ari's state of health can be described as mentally ill, it does not correspond to euthanasia in terms of age or method. And with Ari you don't have the only critical personality. No deep history is dedicated to any of the hotel's visitors. Everyone just seems to be looking for a way out of their lives. A justification? Nothing.
The trailer is still the crowning glory of the film. So you show all the core elements of the film in advance and thus fake a completely different film. There is no mysterious turning away from the hotel. Instead, 2/3 of the film is a simple romanticization of suicides. Over 60 minutes, one has to watch the man's suffering and the failed attempts to commit suicide. However, no contrast is provided in the later course.
Therefore, it is only advisable to discourage this film. For people with depressive ideas, this film is just a match. The film fails because of its positive message across the board. Arnby's film leaves the viewer with a more positive feeling about suicide and at the same time a demonization of euthanasia. Neither offers added value nor knowledge. For Suicide Tourist, praising words in terms of visual language would be out of place, because suicide is never a solution.
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