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Film Review: Before I Disappear (2014) ★★★★


Before I Disappear

You just find out that you won’t be able to pick up your daughter from school. You think about a back up plan. Calling the child’s father is not an option since you no longer live with him. Then all of a sudden, a bright idea comes to your mind; to call someone you haven’t contacted for the last five years, your brother. This may not sound strange to you except one simple fact, that the brother who you’re going to call is in the process of committing suicide… The only thing that will keep him alive is the phone call from you, someone who he almost forgot existed…

Richie is at the lowest point of his life. He has nothing to live for. He has no friends or a person who he can ask for help. He owes money to suspicious people and his girlfriend has recently died. The only way, he thinks, to resolve the emptiness of his life is to end his own. When he prepares everything for his departure, a note to his late girlfriend, and bunch of problems he’s leaving behind, our hero is about to finish what he started… then suddenly the phone rings. He has the choice not to answer to it, however, he does. Surprisingly, it’s his estranged sister, Maggie (Emmy Rossum) who asks him to pick up his niece from school as she has something urgently to do. Certainly, killing himself is the highest priority for Richie, however, he decides to postpone it until he gets back home… But what life is preparing for him outside of his door is something he was not ready for…

Shawn Christensen is equally talented as a writer, actor and director. He has written and played the lead role of the troubled man, Richie. The concept of the film is quite remarkable, where a young man’s life continues after a call from his sister, who he had not spoken to for a while. But when Richie meets his eleven year old niece, Sophie, (Fatima Ptacek), his life changes, although temporarily. Emmy Rossum, who plays Richie’s sister, does not have a big role in the film, however, she is the soul and engine of the entire film in which she appears almost like an angel for Richie. But the interesting part is that she has no idea her brother is carrying a desperate plan in his head…

In conclusion, Before I Disappear is a brilliant indie film that touches an interesting subject. The time also passes by so quickly that the viewer has no chance to track it. Fatima Ptacek as Sophie was a great choice as she undoubtedly manages to keep Richie busy and distracted from his problems, although for just a while. In the end, this film teaches an interesting lesson to anyone who thinks of committing suicide; there is always someone who cares about you more than you can imagine, even if that person is far away from you. And if it happens that someone calls you or texts during the process of ending your life, pick up the phone or text back. Otherwise, you may miss a key moment of your life, to feel once again needed and important.

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