Sitting on the edge of your seat, eyes glued to the screen and every moment passing you try to anticipate what comes next… films that fall within the suspense, thriller or mystery genres tend to keep the viewer’s attention in such manners. Through clever writing and/or directing we can be led down the darkest trails and not know what will be at the end. Films have the power to alter our minds in the sense that they can tell a story in a multitude of ways that makes us question every frame. Danish director Jonas Alexander Arnby’s new film Exit Plan follows the neurotic journey of a suicidal husband facing death.
Max played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) has an inoperable brain tumor. When faced with death he attempts to commit suicide but fails twice. Everything is made more difficult when having to share this moment with his wife. Not knowing how to end it Max discovers a facility that offers assisted suicide called Hotel Aurora. I have to complement Arnby’s directing as scenes flow seamlessly into one another merging together where we do not know what is going on or what just happened. The styles used throughout the film remind me of Michael Gondry’s film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but unfortunately that is where my line of intrigue left.
Regardless of the directing style or the presentation of how the story is told, one key aspect remains and that is that it has to make sense in the end. As viewers we can be pulled in any direction, have the story flip flop back and forth but the pieces still have to come together or else what’s the point. As I mentioned, the scenes in which Max is trying to decipher what’s real and not are captivating but I only had more questions left unanswered. I felt the story did not really start until Max reaches Hotel Aurora but that happens towards the end of the film. Until that point I felt the film was dull offering little to the viewer. Max as a character feels robotic with small hints of humanity which does not allow us to relate to him as the protagonist. The mystery surrounding the hotel and their practices were not fleshed out enough leaving me more annoyed than confused. Until its conclusion Arnby had me questioning everything I was watching unfold but unfortunately no real solace was offered in a suitable understanding of anything I had just watched.
2 out of 5
Film is set for VOD release Friday June 12th