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Before I Disappear
REVIEW by Richard Rivera
This film caught me by surprise. Although it starts off slowly and on the sombre note of a stereotypical loser attempting to commit suicide, it quickly develops into a dark comedy of errors and heartfelt moments.
Richie (Shawn Christensen), the lead character, is deeply involved in drugs, suicide, debt, and threats from loan sharks when he is called upon to do a very important favor for his sister whom he has not spoken to in over five years. The favor: pick up his niece from school and take her home.
The favor seems innocuous enough until it becomes apparent that his self-righteous, upstanding sister who works in finance, has been arrested and is in Central Booking; and his unknown niece is a feisty teen whom he has to baby-sit for the entire night.
Before I Disappear walks a fine line between a dark comedy and drama largely due to the skilled direction of actor Shawn Christensen, and performances by Fatima Ptacek, Paul Wesley, and Ron Pearlman.
As the director, Christensen does a wonderful job of striking a balance between film noir, hallucinatory scenes, the charm of youth, and the angst of immaturity. As the writer, Christensen tells a superficial story that becomes a bit more engaging as the relationships between the characters solidify, but one that could have been much richer with additional backstory and more complex characters. Before I Disappear demonstrates how easy it is for people to lose their way in life, even when
trying to do the right thing.
Before I Disappear is geared towards a youngish audience with a taste for dark humor. It is a tale of family, friendships, and the realization that life is worth living when you consider more than just your own selfish needs.
August 12, 2015
Shawn Christensen carrying Fatima Ptacek in Before I Disappear
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