Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots
Director: Pascal Chaumeil
Running Time: 96 mins
A Long Way Down is a British film about four people who coincidentally meet on top of a tall building on New Years’ Eve, when they all planned to commit suicide.
Less than a sharp and emotionally resonant comedy-drama, A Long Way Down plays out in a rather disingenuous manner, with an A-list cast that never seem to gel. With its subject matter, it’s like some kind of morbid Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, where surprisingly little happens, apart from a group of celebrities sharing the screen for an hour and a half.
Admittedly, A Long Way Down does a good job at getting you ‘hooked’ in its first few minutes. Centring on Pierce Brosnan, playing a disgraced TV star, the film wastes no time in getting into its subject matter, with all four characters about to jump off the building within minutes of the start.
It’s a captivating opening, but it’s also rather anticlimactic, which is a frustrating recurring theme through the whole film. Obviously, I don’t want to see four people jump off a tower block for entertainment in the first few minutes, but the opening scene never seems perilous enough.
For people who are meant to be on the edge, the four are really rather mellow and agreeable just a moment away from ending their lives, which plays into the fact that A Long Way Down, as a whole, isn’t really prepared to go to those darker places that would make its story truly resonate.
The following 90-odd minutes proceeds with a disappointing take on the perils of the media circus, and although there is thankfully a nice message at the centre of the movie, it doesn’t quite hit the mark because the overall film feels a little disingenuous.
The performances from the lead four are fine, although nothing spectacular. Pierce Brosnan isn’t at his best, Aaron Paul is rather absent, and Toni Collette is sweet but a little one-dimensional, with only Imogen Poots really going all out to give her character a little more depth and turmoil.
Overall, A Long Way Down is a rather disappointing watch. Its captivating subject matter notwithstanding, the movie lacks the emotional resonance to make its story truly interesting, while a reluctance to really push deep into the darker territories of the characters’ psyches makes it a fairly disingenuous exploration of suicidal emotions. So, that’s why I’m giving the film a 6.5.