×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Suicide Room

Pic brings Poland its first look at emo culture but overplays its hand.

With:
With: Jakub Gierszal, Roma Gasiorowska, Agata Kulesza, Krzysztof Pieczynski, Bartosz Gelner, Danuta Borsuk, Filip Bobek, Kinga Preis, Anna Ilczuk, Bartosz Porczyk, Piotr Glowacki, Aleksandra Hamkalo, Krzysztof Dracz.

Humiliated at school, a spoiled Warsaw teen seeks solace in a sinister virtual world, the “Suicide Room.” While bringing Poland its first look at emo culture, helmer-writer Jan Komasa overplays his hand, throwing in a surfeit of storylines and overreaching on the “Hamlet” references, ultimately creating an unsympathetic protagonist whose fate doesn’t inspire much interest or many tears. Ironically, those apt to take the greatest interest in this youth-skewing material are the ones least likely to watch it in theaters, signaling that pic’s best bets outside Poland are with edgy fests or VOD.

During his prom, condescending rich kid Dominik (Jakub Gierszal) accepts a dare to make out with classmate Aleks (Bartosz Gelner). Cell-phone footage of their kiss is posted online with snarky comments. Later, Aleks reveals that Dominik had an erection during their judo match, giving rise to suspicions that he is gay — something his irritated parents dismiss, noting, “Even if you are, keep it to yourself.” Unfortunately, this realistic and compulsively watchable plotline, centered on school bullying and sexuality, gets left by the wayside.

Dominik refuses to return to school, locking himself in his room and virtually consorting with the mysterious masked Sylvia (Roma Gasiorowska), who turns out to be Queen of the Suicide Room. And as usual with queens, she expects her courtiers to obey her every command.

Replete with bizarre avatars, the pic’s slick animated segments convey the feeling of being inside an online sword-and-sorcery game. Far less watchable, however, is YouTube footage of a person self-cutting with a razor blade, and a man blowing his head off.

Equally over-the-top is the storyline involving Dominik’s parents: mother Beata (Agata Kulesza), a sharp-tongued, self-involved advertising CEO, and father Andrzej (Krzysztof Pieczynski), a pusillanimous politician. They seem to rep the Poland of the nouveau riche, where problems are solved by throwing money at them or ruthlessly dismissing staff.

Costuming and makeup for central thesps is on the nose, but their playing is cold and at times hysterical. Director Komasa obviously has talent, but here seems to have bitten off more than he can chew. Tech contributions are pro.

Suicide Room

Poland

Production: An ITI Cinema release of a Studio Filmowe Kadr production with support from the Polish Film Institute. (International sales: Level K, Fredriksberg, Denmark.) Produced by Jerzy Kapuscinski. Executive producer, Wojciech Kabarowski. Directed, written by Jan Komasa.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Radoslaw Ladczuk; editor, Bartosz Pietras; music, Michal Jacaszek; production designer, Adam Torczynski; sound (Dolby Digital EX), Bartosz Putkiewicz. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama Special), Feb. 12, 2011. Running time: 114 MIN.

Cast: With: Jakub Gierszal, Roma Gasiorowska, Agata Kulesza, Krzysztof Pieczynski, Bartosz Gelner, Danuta Borsuk, Filip Bobek, Kinga Preis, Anna Ilczuk, Bartosz Porczyk, Piotr Glowacki, Aleksandra Hamkalo, Krzysztof Dracz.

More Scene

  • Adam Driver appears at the curtain

    Adam Driver on Starring in 'Burn This' for a Second Time

    The Hudson Theatre’s new production of “Burn This” marks its first Broadway revival since it premiered on the Great White Way in 1987, but Adam Driver is no stranger to the work. He starred as Pale in a Juilliard production of the Lanford Wilson drama when he was still a student — and only now, [...]

  • PMC Event Rome

    Film, Fashion, Formula E Mix at Rome E-Prix Bash

    Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City.  Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation [...]

  • Katy Perry, Diane von Furstenberg, Arianna

    Katy Perry and Anita Hill Honored at the DVF Awards

    Katy Perry was among the honorees at the 10th Annual DVF Awards on Thursday night. The singer was recognized for her advocacy work with both UNICEF and the LGBTQ community. “Music has opened the doors for so many opportunities for me,” she said while accepting the inspiration award. “The ability to meet people and champion [...]

  • Chrissy Metz'Breakthrough' Film Premiere, Arrivals, Regency

    Why 'This Is Us' Star Chrissy Metz Could End Up Performing at the Next Oscars

    Chrissy Metz made her live-singing debut on Sunday when she performed “I’m Standing With You” from her new movie “Breakthrough.” Was that just a step on her way to performing at the Oscars? Could be. The song was written by 10-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren. “They said Chrissy had to sing it and I was [...]

  • Bob IgerSimon Weisenthal Gala honoring Bob

    Disney's Bob Iger Blasts Hateful Political Discourse and Social Media: 'We Can Do Better'

    Bob Iger didn’t mince words while being honored Thursday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Upon receiving the Humanitarian Award at the organization’s National Tribute Dinner from Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO delivered a scathing critique of social media and the current state of political discourse. “Hate and anger are dragging us [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content