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By Mark Bell | August 30, 2014

Maki (Michalis Marinos) wants to kill himself, though he can’t seem to commit to any one method. Some just don’t seem feasible, or the timing is wrong, or he’s just unsuccessful in the attempt. His wife (Stela Fyrogeni) is worried about him, but even she doesn’t know just how dark his thoughts have become.

Daina Papadaki’s 5 Ways 2 Die is a clever short film that should perhaps trust its audience more, but I’m getting ahead of myself. From the opening credits, which are creative and inventive, the short film sets itself apart from most. From there it remains darkly comic and mysterious, as we try to figure out why Maki wants to kill himself, and whether he’ll ever succeed.

The eventual truth is more complicated, thankfully, and the film delivers a nice spin on expectations. However, and this is where trusting the audience comes in, the film also proceeds to over-explain itself as it winds down through the credits. It’s like someone telling you a joke, and making you laugh, and then proceeding to tell you how clever the joke is and why you’re laughing; suddenly the goodwill of the experience is soured a bit. Trust the audience to understand and interpret what you’ve presented.

Other than that, however, I found little fault with the film. From the opening you know you’re in accomplished and thoughtful filmmaking hands, and the film stays technically strong throughout. Overall, it’s a skillful bit of filmmaking, with an effectively intriguing narrative.

This film was submitted for review through our Submission for Review system. If you have a film you’d like us to see, and we aren’t already looking into it on our own, you too can utilize this service.

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