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Plot: After a frantic suicide attempt, Veronika awakens inside a mysterious mental asylum. Under the supervision of an unorthodox psychiatrist who specializes in controversial treatment, Veronika learns that she has only weeks to live. Runtime: 103 mins Release Date: 02 Oct 2009
I just watched the movie at a film festival in Sofia, Bulgaria.First of all the the music in the movie especially when Veronika plays the piano is very moving and really dragged me into the emotions of the scenes. It is so intense as if Veronika's inner world and feelings were my own.In my opinion Sarah Michelle Gellar did a great job conveying the personality of the character to the viewer.Many people have read the book and I think that many will find the adaptation quite successful. As with other books made into movies, it is not as detailed as the original, but it is surely as <more>
intense and emotional. As for criticism, somehow I find the role of the doctor somewhat secondary, there wasn't much interaction between the two of them. I was also a little surprised at how abrupt the movie ended at first, but as I think of it, a 30 minute ending would do more harm than good.And the message is what is the most important part, it is something that all of us should be reminded about. And in contrast to other films with great messages, this one has a rich atmosphere that compels you to watch and watch and watch.I guess more of Paulo Coelho's books will be made into movies, but I hope the adaptation is at least as good as this one.
So I finally watched Veronika Decides To Die. Brilliant! I expected an 'okay' film after seeing some of the reviews from where it came out, but I honestly loved it. I have not been this moved by a film in a long time. Having not read the novel from which it is based on, I am sure the film stayed true to the essence and theme of the novel. It is a slow film, sometimes too slow for the 'mainstream' audience, but I was never bored. I have seen films with messages like this before, but somehow Veronika Decides To Die felt authentic, maybe because there has not been a film like <more>
this in a very long time. The writing is strong, giving Veronika and the supporting characters real backstory and depth. The director, Emily Young, should direct more than she does. She knows how to really command a scene. There were some flaws, for example the parents felt too one-dimensional, probably because of their small amount of screen time, and the actors that played them were not that great. However, in the acting department, they were the only flaws. Tremendous acting in this film! The star of the film, Sarah Michelle Gellar, really captures an inside look into her character's mind. I feel Gellar is strongly underrated as an actress, but I have always felt that she knows how to play subtle very well. The only other performance besides this where she really fleshed out her acting skills was in the disappointing The Air I Breathe, and the reason she was ignored was probably because the film was less-than-spectacular. However, here she gives her best performance, a tour-de-force performance that is quiet and subtle in the way she approaches the material. I was very impressed, because never did I think she was capable of making a performance this strong and subtle, however good I always knew she was. Melissa Leo and Erika Christensen also deliver first-rate performances. Christensen is charming and amusing, while Leo is powerful no surprise since she was nominated for an Oscar last year . David Thewlis and Jonathan Tucker are also great, but to a lesser extent. The cinematography was beautiful. The camera-work gives the film a realistic feel to it, and there are some very beautiful images in the film. I have also heard complaining about the ending. I LOVED IT! It really made me happy seeing that this film actually had an optimistic and happy ending, one where Veronika's life is still moving on.Overall, I could not have been more pleased with Veronika Decides To Die. There is not a reason why anyone should not see this film, unless they are too 'bored'. This film also holds one of the greater themes about life- live it to the fullest, because you never know when you may not even have the option to.
This film is not a flashy, Hollywood story. It does not move quickly and it is not designed to be eye-catching. It is however, a poignant, beautiful piece of expert film-making.Emily Young directs with an even pace, great attention to detail and she has a knack for focusing in on specific physical details which enrich the emotional architecture of the story. She also, most importantly, understands human behaviour and emotion.Sarah Michelle Gellar gives a touching, powerful performance as Veronika and anchors the film's strong cast. She will captivate you.Paulo Coelho's fantastic book <more>
is given a fantastic adaptation here. Yes, it's true that much of the story is cut for length and the setting has been changed. But the deeper messages, subtext and soul of the story are perfectly intact.I recommend this film for any artist, any soulful human being... and anyone who's become jaded and needs to remember how miraculous life can sometimes be.This film left me in tears... It is beautiful.
For years I had a soft spot for the novel 'Veronika Decides To Die', perhaps because Coelho approached the subject material with verve, originality, sensitivity and the understanding that comes only from having lived through something similar.When I heard of the movie, I was hoping it was going to be handled with the same deft of hand the author had used with the original incarnation of the work. I was worried that a movie of this novel would be haphazard, overtly-dramatic and, frankly, a botched effort. So when Sarah Michelle Gellar became attached to the project I was seriously <more>
relieved. Here's an actor who is so under-rated, Gellar has a considerable talent: the ability to transcend genres as an actor and succeed at it. Why she has remained so under-rated in her industry I honestly can't understand.Her interpretation of Veronika Deklava in Veronika Decides To Die, I'm sure will be defined as being the role of Gellar's career thus far. Gellar makes this movie. Most actors have previously taken similar roles and gone for the overtly-melancholic, Hollywood-style "despair" and self-loathing, making it fraught with unreal overtly emotional behaviour that anyone who has suffered severe depression/mental-illness can tell you is usually not accurate. What Gellar does here is employ subtly, strength and honesty. Her interpretation of Veronika's despair smacks of someone who knows what she's dealing with, or at least has studied the realism of such suffering with consideration: in real life, severe depressives almost always strive to hide their despair from most of those around them. Veronika does this in the novel, and Sarah Michelle Gellar uses her talents to do it with her approach to her role in the film, and the result is an astonishing performance from her.Gellar's Veronika is somehow far more real and affecting a character than anything thrown out in the last twenty years e.g: Girl, Interrupted/One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and to lesser degrees movies such as Thirteen, House of Sand & Fog, The Hours... . The movie is slow, but never does it bore, or seem sluggish. I sat rapt with attention, moved to tears and frequently wishing the movie were going at a slower pace due to the astonishing performance of Gellar & indeed the rest of the cast. If you look at the novel itself: this is about Veronika, and how she effects those around her, and this is what the movie focuses on and does so almost flawlessly. A previous reviewer described Gellar's acting here as a tour-de-force performance, commanding the screen with a subtly, sensitive touch, fraught with mixed emotion, confusion & strength. The rest of the cast are equally on top form, Erika Christensen is sad yet charming, Jonathan Tucker and particularly Melissa Leo are great and highly memorable in their supporting roles. Not for one second did I think Gellar's Veronika was "void of emotion", on the contrary it's a performance filled with clearly conflicting emotions, broiling beneath the surface, always just a moment away from bubbling to the fore yet nearly always controlled- it's clearly a thought out, hard-worked at performance and having been in Veronika's position, having felt those emotions myself, I can see it in Gellar's performance. Her acting skills get a full workout here, she excels herself and has, I think, raised the bar for other actors in portraying hopelessness, disillusion and mental illness on screen in a way that perhaps only Bjork did in a similar way with her quietly charming but clearly sad, disillusioned yet hopeful portrayal of Selma in Dancer in the Dark.Alright things are missing in the movie that may have helped, but what they did here was concentrate on the core idea: Veronika. They took it in the right direction and truly, this film shines because of it. The outstanding, subtly & strength of all the acting, the beautiful cinematography, the perfectly suited soundtrack and a refreshingly intelligent, honed script have made Veronika Decides To Die not only one of my personal favourite films, but also undoubtedly one of the best movies I have seen in several years. See it, if not for your love of the novel, but for the performances, you will be rewarded.It has no doubt set the bar for future movies dealing with similar subject material, it shows you can make films about depression and suicide without the irritating emotional circuses previously done in the industry. Coelho, no doubt is very proud- and I'm sure relieved! Sadly I think though it is certainly Oscar worthy stuff on display, I'm not sure due to its rather scattered release, the fact it is independent and unlikely to get as broad a release and publicity as is needed for Oscar contenders generally, it would be tragic if all the bloody great acting on show here does not get its deserved recognition. If I had not already been a major fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar's work before, I certainly would have been after this. See it!
A very thoughtful look at life and death (by perkypops)
Anyone who has experienced someone close committing or attempting to commit suicide will know how difficult it is to come to terms with not having noticed the signs, done something differently, or been less selfish. And yet this film strips away so many of the myths about suicide it deserves to be watched for taking on us a trip through many simple truths. From Paulo Coelho's profound story, through Emily Young's sensitive direction, and Sarah Michelle Gellar's superbly crafted performance of Veronika, this film is rich in things to spoil yourself with.The story is simple: <more>
Veronika decides to die and we are lead on a trip through human wonderland from there on. There are no spoilers here, and, no matter what ending you wish for as the characters evolve you are going to be taken on a wonderful waltz around the drawing room as the onion layers are stripped away.My only criticism is the overuse of soft speech against the soundtrack of some often wonderful piano music, but I forgive the film this fault because it has so much more to offer than words. David Thewlis gives a very thoughtful portrayal of the often unorthodox Dr Blake.This isn't perhaps the greatest cinema but it is compelling as a drama and deserves to be up there with the best movies you can watch.
this is a great movie, it is very touching , and although the topic could have been very depressing , it just brightens your day . Sarah Michelle Gellar does a fantastic job , she is both strong and vulnerable . the other actors are alright although the parents could have been a bit more profound and complex. all in all , a simple and slow movie that goes straight to your heart quite unexpectedly . i have read the book and as usual in movie adaptations a lot has been left out, however , the movie stands out on its own , and is in noway overshadowed by the novel . Again , a short but exquisite <more>
take on life, on hope,on love and second chances. well worth the watch , it's a movie that will surprise you and make you shed a tear on the new found miracle of life !
In New York, the middle-class Veronika Deklava Sarah Michelle Gellar is a twenty and something year-old beautiful woman with a good job and a nice apartment. However, the feeling of emptiness of her pessimist view of life leads her to commit suicide with an overdose of pills. She fails in her intent and two weeks later she leaves the coma and awakes in a psychiatric institution directed by the unorthodox Dr. Blake David Thewlis . She is informed that her OD injured her heart provoking an aneurysm and she has only a few weeks of life. Along the days, Veronika gets closer to the catatonic <more>
Edward Jonathan Tucker , who was left in the institution many years ago. They feel attracted for each other and Veronika discovers the meaning of life again; they escape from the institution and decide to enjoy the miracle of each new day together. The dramatic "Veronika Decides to Die" is based on the best-seller of Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho and has a magnificent performance of Sarah Michelle Gellar in the role of a suicidal young woman. Her complex character becomes aware of the simple things that make life so wonderful only after finding the meaning of love. The screenplay has great lines and discusses good points like the definition of insanity or the meaning of life. The cinematography and the stylish music score are very beautiful. My vote is eight.Title Brazil : "Veronika Decide Morrer" "Veronika Decides to Die"
It's a movie worth watching b/c it guides you to search your soul in this crazy world.Kudos to Sarah Michelle Gellar's performance & her agent landing her this movie. Last time I had the chance to view her performance was Grudge 2 and wow she became a serious actress in this one.Maybe it's the director dared to tone down to sell our her blond pretty girl image. Instead, giving her a chance to be an actress.Terrific script as it dares to asks us what's the meaning of life, love, reality, ... etc I am as impressed with this script as I was with "He loves me, he loves me <more>
not" Terrific music as well. Kudos to the producer to put out this amazing movie during this time of sci-fi, shock em all, trash comedy, soft porn / comedy Hollywood junk food moviesIt deserves Oscar or other serious film award. At least nominations!!! Just to show Americans are not lame and stupid!!!
Finally A Paolo Coelho novel makes it to the movie screen! (by mrcibubur)
Clearly I am not the only Paolo Coelho fan and we have all been waiting a while for one of his books to make it to the big movie screen. wow! Wouldn't have chosen this as the first and if I recall from the book, the story is set in slovenia or slovakia or somewhere like that - why oh why is the story moved to New York and USA? The film is excellent and an emotional roller-coaster though I really don't think there is enougjh chemistry in the film between Veronika and Edward which was the heart of the story in the book.Almost a Twlight new Moon re-written.Sarah Michelle Gellar is <more>
definitely sensational in the lead role as Veronika and nobody, above nobody, should miss seeing this film. Coelho is one of the words most sensitive and interpretative writers of human emotions and thinks film does all the soul-searching for you.Not a long film but it didn't need to be. I was so thrilled to watch it and I am looking forward to more of P C making it!