Something a bit lighter today – a film about about wanting to commit suicide. “A Long Way Down” is another North London black comedy drama that has particular resonance for me. It’s based on the book by Nick Hornby, who also wrote “Fever Pitch” and “High Fidelity”. Both of those books are also set in North London and were also made into great movies.
This might not sound like fun, but it’s really good … honestly. It’s about a group of people who all want to kill themselves. They meet each other at a famous suicide spot at the same time on New Year’s Eve.
The reason it resonates so much with me is because it’s based on exactly where I live. And I mean exactly. It’s based on a bridge which is literally outside my front door. Hornby was asked to change the location to a building so that the book wouldn’t encourage more attempts from the bridge.
I’ve talked almost a dozen people off that bridge. I remember every single one of them. Thankfully there is now an anti-climb fence in place which seems to be working.
This is an enjoyable film for me as I’ve never found out what happened to those people after I spent an hour or two talking to them. Some of them walked away after I had changed their mind. Some were in a seriously bad emotional state and had to be taken to hospital. But I like to think that I affected their lives a little bit. At least I hope they’re now more at peace with themselves than when I met them, which must have been the lowest point in their lives.
It’s a really well structured film, told in chapters based on each character. It’s about very different people bonding and caring for each other. There’s a lovely scene near the start, outside a hospital, when the characters finally make a connection with each other.
The younger ones, played by Imogen Poots and Aaron Paul, especially connect with me as I’ve talked to very similarly disturbed young people. Pierce Brosnan and Toni Collette are also incredibly good as the sort-of father and mother figures who are also dealing with their own issues.
I highly recommend it. We all have our problems to deal with. Please always remember that you are loved.