Chronic

I decided to start watching movies from the Independent Spirit Awards because I wanted to see movies that I normally would never hear of. Sure, somehow, the winner of most categories goes to a film that is also going to be known from Oscars. But there are only usually a couple of those for best Picture.

This years Indie Best Picture nominations include American Honey, Chronic, Jackie, Manchester By The Sea, and Moonlight.

Great, four movies I have heard of before (one of which I was avoiding), and then Chronic, an actual independent film that wasn’t super famous. This is the type of film I hope to see from them, to broaden my site’s focus and get some weird shit up in here.

Funeral
And I expect it to go full indie: death, minimum dialogue, and a very specific focus.

Working with those doomed to die is probably a very fucking miserable job. Knowing people only on the last moments of their life. Working with those sick, in pain, who want to die, who can’t communicate, and what have you. Just down right miserable.

But David (Tim Roth) is great at his job. He cares about those he works with. He bathes them, cleans them, never any complaint. He will go to their funeral, take extra shifts if they need it and make sure they are always as comfortable as possible.

And sometimes that can get him into trouble. He seems too caring to the loved ones of the dying, they worry he might be inappropriate with them. It is almost like he WANTS to be there when he dies. Oh yeah. David also suffers from depression, he is a bit weird, social anxiety and all of that. He only feels like he can be himself when he is helping those with suffering.

Also featuring a lot of people with much smaller roles, like Sarah Sutherland, Elizabeth Tulloch, David Dastmalchian, and Claire van der Boom.

Old Man
Oh yeah, they are definitely watching porn.

Oh hey, Chronic, the film that I normally would never watch on my own. And it maybe should have stayed that way.

Look, I like Tim Roth. He is fantastic in plenty of movies and even a few TV shows. He has to carry this movie. It has a lot of long take scenes, slow and meticulous. According to IMDB it only had 97 scenes overall, each one on average lasting under a minute. That means every scene should matter.

Each scene does seem to add to something, a lot of them are viewer discomfort. People dying are not pleasant. This movie has old, frail, people. Naked, pooping on themselves, coughing a shit ton, crying and wanting death. Just being miserable.

And that is the reason this review gets an average rating. It felt realistic. But the actual point to the story seems to be missing. It is a character study, it is okay, but it lacks that oomph. A sobering experience is what Chronic is.

2 out of 4.

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