This Is Your Death Movie Review
This Is Your Death Movie Review Metadata
As SXSW’s director of film, Janet Pierson, expertly points out, Giancarlo Esposito is credited with over 160 acting credits on IMDb. But This Is Your Death marks only the second feature film by the Breaking Bad veteran.
Esposito credits the film’s script for saving his life from bouts of depression and thoughts of suicide. It offers surprising, interesting commentary on this troubling mental health condition and although the premise is shocking, plays quite fine to open-minded audiences.
By the way, that premise involves publicly televising suicide.
The film stars Josh Duhamel as Adam Rogers, a host of one of those reality TV marry-a-rich-person shows. On the season finale, the losing contestant guns down the rich guy on live TV. Adam is regarded a hero when he selflessly defends the winning bride-to-be and talks down the assailant.
Ilana Katz (Famke Janssen) is as greedy a television executive as you’ll find. She wants to capitalize on the finale’s high ratings when its discovered they’ve escaped a legal bullet. It reveals a possible loophole in people dying on live TV. Adam is reluctant at first, but he agrees to host a reality show where the subjects commit suicide, as long as the person is of sound mind and the death is for a higher purpose.
Instances of those purposes might be an incurable disease or a dire financial situation, as in the one Mason Washington (played by the film’s director, Esposito) slowly melts into. The deaths are absolutely shocking and the show is subjected to an understandable level of criticism. Not everyone grasps the higher purpose, the least of which are the show’s rabid, growing fan-base.
Everything comes to a head when the season finale reveals Adam’s flaw, that he has grown to love the success versus the higher purpose. And as for the finale contestants? One turns out to be Adam’s sister (Sarah Wayne Callies).
This Is Your Death isn’t going to please all audiences, the least of which, those theologically and, in-general, against suicide. I can’t blame them. The deaths are difficult to watch as well. Some viewers will point out the severe lack of production value and to a lesser degree, the acting. One SXSW attendee equated it to a Lifetime movie. I don’t disagree.
It certainly made me think, and maybe that was the point. An audience member revealed their experience with suicide in the Q&A that followed the premiere, and then Giancarlo Esposito explained why he needed to make this film and his revelations had some people in tears. It’s an incredibly personal journey for the veteran actor, but let’s hope he gets the funding he needs to continue improving his filmmaking career.
Below are images from the red carpet premiere of This Is Your Death, featuring principle cast members.