Roulette Reel: How I Live Now

Now, I’m not strictly sure if I cheated on this assignment a little… I was given the title of a film I had never heard of before, and asked to review it based solely on my initial watching of it. That film, was How I Live Now.

Now, to the potential cheating, as I found the film on Netflix, and booted it up, I read the brief synopsis. I think it’s safe to say that, as I sit typing this, three minutes into the film, and having no prior knowledge of its existence or content other than that twenty word summary, I do not exactly have high hopes.

The first thing that struck me from the opening of this film, is that the woman who (I assume) to be the lead of the film, is the most infuriating little nightmare I’ve ever come across. Not to the point of it being a well written character, but to the point of… Well I will just show you what I wrote down in my notes, that has to be easier:


Now I know I mention my illness a lot on Cultured Vultures, but it has been a life changing four years. Now being more well versed in the ways of the psychotic than the average person, I am overly certain that this main character, the American brat, as she become known to my internal monologue, almost instantly for that matter… I would say I am pretty sure this girl is psychotic. If she isn’t, and the voices that play throughout the film, that don’t sound like thoughts, but like a crowd, off camera, shouting at her, were definitely a bad decision for the creators to make. I doubt it was their intention but they gave me unsettling feelings that fell back to my own experiences. In short, her overcrowded internal monologue that was barely comprehensible, was all too familiar to me, and I hope that it had some purpose rather than just being a way to be different, unique, or cool.

For the first three quarters of the film, it is safe to say that my face looked like this:


And my notes, like this:


But as WWIII broke out, things began to make a little bit more sense. Then again, my face barely changed from the above throughout. The rest of the film appeared to be little more than an arty walk from a war zone to a farm, with a mediocre sprinkling of death, rape, and all things associated with war.

And did I forget to mention, the girl has a dream that she is convinced is a premonition? That conviction of the supernatural just further cements my belief that the character is mentally ill, and that, is really, as much as I can say about a film that appeared to have no point or purpose. An arty walk through an abandoned forest, with little obvious substance before the final monologue. Even that felt about as profound as a Jayden Smith tweet. If I had to outline the film for you, I would say this, and simply this:

Girl meets boy. Boy appears to either be psychic, or be able to communicate telepathically. Boy’s siblings are verging on insane. Alas, as is so often the case in romantic films, Girl likes Boy regardless. Girl and Boy kiss. – War breaks out. Boy and Girl get freaky-deaky. Boy is separated from Girl. – It is between the dashes that you (unless I missed something earlier on) learn that Boy and Girl, who have committed freaky-deakiness, are, in fact, cousins. It then takes about half an hour of arty cinematography for Girl to find Boy. Then the film ends.

Now, granted there is a little more to it than that. I would be lying if I said I missed anything important, or indeed interesting. In all I would rate it at about a 6/10… But I can categorically say, even if surrounded by a harem of supermodels, or better yet-porn stars… If all it would take to indulge my every whim with them would be to watch this film, I would be pulling this face:


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