February 19th, 2012 12:06 EST
DVD Review By Robert Paul Reyes: Things I Don't Understand
Drama/Comedy 108 Minutes HD, color 1:1:85 Stereo
Written/Directed by David Spaltro
Executive Producers: Lee Gillentine & David Spaltro
Starring: Molly Ryman, Aaron Mathias, Grace Folsom & Lisa Eichhorn
Molly Ryman plays the part of Violet Kubelick, a brilliant grad student doing a thesis of near-death experiences. Violet, who attempted suicide, is trying to find meaning in life, by examining the subject of death.
Violet is estranged from her wealthy father, and she makes ends meet by working at a bookstore. Violet ignores her customers, she doesn`t want to interact with anyone.
Violet drinks too much, sleeps around too much, swears too much, she is basically marking time until she dies. The only ones she has any kind of connection with are her two roommates, one is a performance artist (played by Meissa Hampton) and an unemployed musician played by Hugo Dillon.
Violet and her two roommates have only weeks to move out of their Brooklyn loft, this state of affairs only adds to her anxiety and stress.
The detached and alienated grad student attempts to bond with a mysterious bartender, played by Aaron Mathias, but he has serious issues of own, and he doesn`t open up with Violet or anybody else.
Violet`s psychiatrist recommends that she interview a terminally ill girl in a hospice for her thesis. The shrink is hoping that her young patient will develop a friendship with the young girl, and thereby find some meaning in her life.
Sara the dying young woman, played by Grace Folsom, is more alive than Violet. Sara is bitter about her situation, but she desperately clings to life. She believes in God, but only as a mechanism where she can channel and focus her anger.
Violet who gave up believing in God a long time ago, comes to love and respect her new friend. Violet is crushed when Sara dies, and she is no closer to understanding life or death.
After Sara`s death, the movie goes on (unnecessarily) for another thirty minutes, Violet learns why the bartender, who has become her lover, is a damaged soul. Sara makes occasional appearances as a ghost in the last portion of the motion picture. The bartender leaves, and Violet is once again alone, and life, such as it is goes on.
This movie makes you think about God, life after death, and the meaning, or lack thereof, of life. We are all in Sara`s situation, we are all slowly dying.
We are all in Violet`s predicament, life is unbearably sad and cruel. We can choose to just mark time and live like a zombie, or try to develop friendships with other lonely souls.
Violet made a difference, she brought comfort and joy to a dying young woman, and even though her romance with the bartender was ill-fated, it`s better to have loved, than never to have loved at all.
I am as complicated and screwed-up as Violet, I hope that I will also make a difference in this world by befriending others, and touching people with my essays and reviews.
I know reviewers aren`t supposed to talk about themselves, but what the hell this movie touched me -- so sue me.
Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes