It’s tough themes are inoffensive and well managed, but that leaves it scarcely thin on the ground for any genuine drama
Joking about things that almost certainly shouldn’t be laughed at is a very British thing, and suicide comes at the very top of the list of no no’s. But if handled correctly can any subject be used as humour? Dead In A Week seems to believe in that philosophy, becoming a feature with a bizarre appeal and a very strange taste in jokes.
William (Aneurin Barnard) is a young, out of work, writer feeling depressed and lonely. Desperate to end it all, he attempts to take his own life, 10 times, failing each and every time. With a change of plan needed, William hires an assassin to do the dirty work for him. However, just after hiring the assassin with a contractual obligation, William begins to realise perhaps he does have something to live for.
There is nothing particularly notable or exciting about Dead In A Week, but its eccentric and somewhat original story certainly count for most of the qualities it does have. Very few filmmakers would attempt to normalise, and ridicule, a topic that is often incredibly difficult to discuss, but never does it feel as if it has overstepped the line. This mainly comes from its clever use the suicides as a device rather than making it William’s personality.
The humour rarely hits, or hits enough to make an impact, leaving behind a middling drama with some remnants of a chase thriller. Dead In A Week’s style works as a film, but not one with a message or intent. It feels far more throw away than any production should, showing just how much room there actually was for depth in a film lacking badly.
The cast are fine, with a nice cameo from Christopher Eccleston, but in reality the story isn’t strong enough to take Dead In A Week to the moral heights it needed to reach. It’s tough themes are inoffensive and well managed, but that leaves it scarcely thin on the ground for any genuine drama.
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