15 April 2017 | dbdumonteil
David Miller checked into his room only to find Gideon's Bible.
He flips through it but how can it help him?He's waiting for someone who 's going to help him to die :although the words "assisted suicide " are never uttered ,we almost immediately understand why Esperanza (what a first name!) comes .He has chosen to die in that motel because he (an architect)and his wife drew the plans of the place which is his pride although changes have been made .This final evening takes place on a cold December night (maybe it's Christmas)whereas his memories which come back as black and white flashbacks depict a luminous place with men and women swimming and diving in the pool (which does not exist anymore).Vanity.
The first part may recall Stéphane Brizé 's "Quelques Heures De Printemps"(2012) and Frederik Steiner's "Und Morgen Mittag Bin Ich Tod" aka " Zurich" (2013).But nothing happens according to plan .
As the suicidal man and his "assistant" need a witness ,they ask Treplev ,a male prostitute ,who works to feed his wife and his four children.He's waiting for a client ,but "he is as gentle as a sheep and it won't take long" ("we say " as a lamb" in French ,says David who,even in his last night,wants a correct language)
These eccentric newcomers confuse the issue ;there are echoes of John Huston in this implausible relationship: David wants to take his own life,Esperanza is only three years younger than him,but she's still coquette ("this boy mistook me for a whore")and she's got the lust of life ("are you sure?...When you have drunk it,you won't be able to go back").Treplev is a sentimental ,he cannot hold back his tears ,he is a down-to-earth person who "makes more money with his clients than he would do in design ,and anyway we are all bisexuals ,aren't we?".He thinks David should leave his death in the hands of God .But the old man does not want a natural death because it's not natural ;in other words,he wants to choose his .Vanity.
The last third is less convincing ,although it features a FRENCH SONG (French directors ,why don't you do the same,instead of filling your works with songs in English which bear no relation (or not much) to the plot?)Here Claude Nougaro's jazzy " Dansez Sur Moi" with its line ("dance over me on my funeral day")is thoroughly appropriate. And David's drive through Christmas night is dazzling.
In spite of the initial subject,it's not really a sad movie.It does not condemn assisted suicide either;but sometimes ,instead of the Biblical "vanity of vanities,all is vanity", it makes sense to bring someone back to life.