Veronika Decides to Die

Veronika Decides to DieWhen I first saw the title of this movie, I thought no thanks.  The title alone, Veronika Decides to Die, just seemed too depressing.  The only reason I decided to watch it was because the film was based on the novel by Paulo Coelho whose writing I love and it stars Sarah Michelle Gellar (I am a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan).


The movie begins with Veronika coming home from work, pouring herself a big drink of whiskey and lining up a dozen or so pills.  She has decided to die.  You see Veronika already knows she has given up on her dreams.   She was a piano prodigy with a scholarship to Julliard, but her parents suggested she find a career.  Her life she feels is on a path that sucks so why go down the path at all.


Her attempt of suicide is not successful and she awakens in a mental institution.  She is told that her suicide attempt has caused a severe problem with her heart.  There is no telling how long she will live.  Veronika is mad at the doctors for keeping her alive and making her participate in therapy to address her feelings.  Even a fellow patient questions if it is fair to encourage her to recover her will to live since she is about to die.


OK.  I know what you are thinking.  “This sounds pretty darn depressing to me, Karen.”  I ask you though to give the movie a try.  At the core this movie is about everyday miracles and living your dream.  One of my favorite quotes of the movie is from the institution’s head psychiatrist, Dr. Blake, played by David Thewlis (Remus Lupine for you Harry Potter fans).  He says. “If everyone realized their dreams, this place would be empty.”

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