“Today is gonna be a good day. Because, today is ideal day to commit suicide.”
The tagline for Yuichi Suita’s short film is both poignant and funny in an absolutely guilt-inducing way. It’s also telling of how viewers are likely to feel throughout the seven-minute film. We watch the un-named and silent protagonist as she goes about her everyday life, from washing her clothes, to brushing her teeth, to eating her final meal. Every move is methodical, rigid, ritualistic and beautiful in its simplicity. Each task is also purposely drawn out, and seems to be tempting the viewer to scream “Just do it already!”
This feeling of morbid anticipation is further aided by occasional references to the impending suicide, such as the writing of a letter and taping up seals in the windows and doors. If nothing else, my personal reaction made me question my own expectations of films, and why I’m so quick to jump to the punch line, particularly when it will be potentially horrible. I truly believe that this was perhaps the whole point of the film: to question our beliefs and expectations when it comes to film. After all, why else would you give away the plot in the title if experimentation wasn’t one of your goals?
Although the aforementioned slow build is frustrating, it’s certainly impressive. As previously mentioned, the film is only seven minutes long, so to draw that kind of a reaction out an audience is commendable. If you also take into consideration that Suita manages this will zero dialogue and minimal sound, one can’t help but highly commend him.
It’s difficult to talk much more about The Day She Commits Suicide without giving away spoilers, but I will ask future audience members the same question I asked myself as I was watching. Why the hell would you bother doing your washing if you’re going to kill yourself?
If you’re looking for an interesting, thought-provoking short that will aggravate as much as it will invigorate, I highly recommend The Day She Commits Suicide.
Review Score: THREE AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
The short film The Day She Commits Suicide screens alongside Tamoko In Moratorium at the Sydney Film Festival. It has one final session this Saturday, June 14th at 12.45pm. Tickets and more details are here: tix.sff.org.au/session_sff.asp?sn=The+Day+She+Commits+Suicide