Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Burning Bodhi (2015)

Number Rolled: 2
Movie Name/Year: Burning Bodhi (2015)
Tagline: None
Genre: Drama
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: None Listed
Producer: Marshall Bear, Robert Bowman, Heather A. Clark, Marjorie Ergas, James Katz, Michael Lazo, Mary Vernieu
Director: Matthew McDuffie
Writer: Matthew McDuffie
Actors: Sasha Pieterse, Kaley Cuoco, Virginia Madsen, Landon Liboiron, Cody Horn, Andy Buckley, Meghann Fahy, Tatanka Means, Augusta Allen-Jones, Eli Vargas, Wyatt Denny, Lara Dale, Jason A. Sedillo, Christopher Atwood, Lauren Ham, Juanita Trad, Steffen Garcia
Stunt Doubles: None

Blurb from Netflix: After learning of an old friend’s death, Dylan returns to his hometown for the funeral, where he’s forced to confront a dizzying swirl of issues.

Selina’s Point of View:
This was a very existential film.

Burning Bodhi was dialog based and had incredibly deep characters. Not only were the actual characters believable, though, their reactions made so much sense to me.

Anyone who’s ever lost someone unexpectedly knows that mourning is not the most predictable thing in the world.

People react differently to death. Some people feel they can’t step into the funeral home. Other’s find that exact thing to be disrespectful. Some people sit shiva, some people try to move on as soon as possible. Some people need to listen to that last voicemail a few more times, just to remember their loved one’s voice… the same thing is torture to others.

I’ve lost a lot of people in my life. Some suddenly, some not-so-much. It’s always hard. The one thing that I’ve learned through all the loss, is that there’s no wrong way to grieve. You move on as best you can, however you can. I don’t judge people for not being able to look at the body. I visit people when they sit shiva. I don’t think people are being disrespectful if I hear a little bit of laughter during the wake.

Everyone deals with the most permanent thing in our world differently… and the only thing I have a problem with is the judgment or forcing people to mourn your way.

A friend of mine hung himself when I was in high school. It was sudden and there were no indications that he had any form of depression. He was just an all-around decent guy who seemed to care about everyone he came across. No one could have seen it coming.

I reacted badly. I got very angry, and I refused to mourn. Every year, on the day he died, I would just get angrier. That went on for many years. I had other reasons to be angry at that age, but that was part of it.

About five years later, while I was trying to pull out of that anger, a boy I was trying to help walked of a building. And the cycle continued.

Now, my knee jerk reaction when people I love die, is anger.

It’d be easy to judge me over that. Especially not knowing my back story.

When my grandma died, I was living with my soon-to-be husband. As usual, I got angry. Not at my grandma, but at myself.

I believed there was nothing I’d done while she was alive to make her proud of me. There are family issues that made that thought stick out even further in my mind, but the point was… it made me furious.

I lashed out a little. Not nearly as much as I had when I was 13 and trying to understand a suicide, but I did lash out.

My husband had forgotten to bring his suit with him when we moved in together, and was talking about wearing jeans to my grandma’s funeral – I flipped out. So, he drove a little over an hour to go get it and then came back.

Someone he saw while he was doing that, heard about the fight – one of our only fights ever – and decided it was their job to convince him to leave me. They don’t know that my husband told me about it. They took my grief and judged it on a single action. One that had never been an issue in the past, and that never duplicated itself after. Luckily, my husband understood me enough to know that what he was being convinced to do wasn’t necessary.

The point is, you never know why someone reacts to death the way they do. Hell, they might not know. I went through a lot of therapy to be able to understand the inner workings of who I am.

Burning Bodhi didn’t show stereotypical ways of dealing with death. There was laughter and ranting and anger. It felt familiar to me. I saw myself in some of the characters. That doesn’t usually happen for me when trying to compare to a character dealing with grief. I’m not the type of person who can stare at a picture of a lost loved one or hear their voice over and over and cry for seven days and nights. That’s not how I grieve, but that’s what movies show. Usually.

It was kind of a relief to see other people react to death with anger. It proved to me that I’m not alone.

The movie itself was very good. The dialog was natural and I have very few complaints. I’d watch it again just to see if there were bits and pieces I missed the first time through.

Cat’s Point of View:
The trailer of Burning Bodhi flashes a quote that compares this movie with The Big Chill (1983). The idea is that this is the Millennial’s equivalent. I’m not sure that this film gives that classic a ‘run for its money’ as the quote claimed, but it wasn’t bad.

It always sucks to lose someone you care about – especially when there’s something unresolved between you. This movie does well to underscore that feeling as it brings the lead characters together to pay respects to their fallen comrade.

The ragtag bunch, with Landon Liboiron (The Howling: Reborn, Terra Nova, Forsaken), Cody Horn (Violet & Daisy, End of Watch, Demonic), and Kaley Cuoco’s (Cougar Club, Killer Movie, The Wedding Ringer) characters at the core, take a winding emotional road through the story. It wasn’t a total gut-punch in the feels like I thought it might be, but I did get misty in a few places.

I admit that I had trouble connecting in a few places…while in other spots I resonated all too well with the characters. The central theme was far more than laying a friend to rest – it was finding a way to piece yourself back together following emotional wreckage. It was a quest to make peace with the past. I’m sure most of us go through something along those lines at some point in our lives. I know I have.

I will say that in comparison to our previous review this week, I am glad that this film at least represented LGBTQ in a somewhat more positive manner. The movie didn’t fall into the trap of stereotyping gay or bisexual characters as ‘sluts’ by default – it made it clear that individual choice was involved.

While I hold firm in my belief that this doesn’t really stand up as any generation’s equivalent to the 1983 classic by any means; if you put that notion aside and just take the film on its own merit, you’ll find it’s at least worth your time. I don’t know that it would even come to mind if someone asked me for a movie recommendation; but it didn’t suck, so at least there’s that.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 30%
Metascore - 45/100
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 4.8/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3/5

Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment