To say the Polish film “@Suicide Room” is like nothing I’ve ever seen is truly an understatement. It is depressing, scary, and so compelling, I couldn’t look away.
Dominik Santorski (Jakub Gierszal) is an 18 year-old student at an exclusive private school. He’s popular, handsome, and his essentially absentee, career-driven parents are big-time rich. At a drunken party one night, Dominik’s friends goad two girls into making out. They agree, but only if Dominik and his friend reciprocate.
This being the 21st Century, somebody films Dominik’s kiss, and it ends up on Facebook, YouTube, etc. Dominik takes some ribbing and jokes about it. Later, something happens in judo class. That makes the social media, and suddenly Dominik is shunned, no longer one of the beautiful people.
He finds a website called @Suicide Room, and he joins. The members are essentially suicide worshippers. They have videos of actual suicides, and much of their conversation revolves around death. Dominik locks himself in his room, spending all his time in @Suicide Room.
Dominik loses it. He befriends a 20-something girl named Sylwia (sic) (Roma Gastiorowska) who admits she hasn’t left her room in three years. They strike up a weird friendship, both inside and outside of @Suicide Room, and Sylwia nudges Dominik toward killing himself.
I’ll leave it there.
This film is crushing, because I have no doubt there are rooms like this on the Internet, and there are probably lots of people in them right now.
When we’re inside the Suicide Room, everything is 3-D animation. Each person has an avatar, and it’s a brightly colored hell. The contrast between reality and this twisted fantasy world is jarring, as is watching Dominik become tethered more to the imaginary world and less to reality.
As Dominik, Jakub Gierszal gives an amazing performance. The palette and degrees of emotions he goes through is huge, and his acting is absolutely splendid.
The whole film is splendid, honestly, especially the juxtaposition of Dominik’s parents consulting a shrink about him while Dominik’s avatar is in the room.
The animation parts are perfect for capturing @Suicide Room. They’re lushly colored, and the avatars look straight from an RPG.
Be forewarned: this is not a happy film. The themes and execution are tough, and the subject matter is disturbing. As a film, though, it is an amazing ride. If you think you can handle it, visit “@Suicide Room.” As tough as it is, the cast is always up to the challenge. “@Suicide Room” is one of the best films I’ve seen in some time.
I highly recommend it, if you can handle the emotions.