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Living Wake, The (DVD Review)

29 Jul, 2010 By: Alexandra Hammarth

Street 8/3/10
Breaking Glass
Box Office $0.01 million
$24.99 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Mike O’Connell, Jesse Eisenberg, Jim Gaffigan.

Inventor K. Roth Binew (Mike O’Connell) will do anything to find the answer to life, even if it means dying. Since childhood, Binew has been obsessed with his father’s best-kept secret, which was supposedly the key to understanding the fulfillment of life.

It’s no wonder that Binew, learning he has a disease, plans to prepare for his own death with a living wake. He sets out to make his rounds on this day with the neighbors inviting them to the odd occasion, assisted by Mills (Jesse Eisenberg from Zombieland), who is best described as Binew’s half-minion, half-apprentice. Mills is probably the only person in existence who accepts Binew’s eccentricity and worships his outlandish theories. 

Binew openly admits to being mad (which is only accentuated with his constant hallucinations), and plans to go out with a bang. While he and Mills set out to complete his list of demands, the peculiar pair discover more along the way than they expected. Although Binew’s craziness is leveled out by Mills’ comic relief, it’s hard to believe how the two will survive without each other.

What follows is a bizarre sequence of events in which Binew attempts to preserve his memory among those who clearly do not want him there.

In the grand scheme of things, Binew’s philosophies are not so far-fetched. His way of going about life (minus the wildly inappropriate behavior) is extremely optimistic. For a story about death, The Living Wake takes a spin on man’s expected fate and turns it into a quirky comedy about life’s joys and achievements.


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