What is the most depressing movie you have ever seen?

What is the most depressing movie you have ever seen? I posed that question on Facebook yesterday.

I watched Hamlet the other day – the Kenneth Branagh version. Actually I re-watched it for at least the third or fourth time.

In the viewing, I found that for all the elaborate visuals, the costumes, the strong performances, and the interesting casting selections (Jack Lemmon comes to mind), the basic story remains somewhat depressing. Powerful. Compelling. Amazing. All that to be sure. Yet the word depressing also springs to mind. It seems a hard to word to avoid when most of the major characters die along the way and corpses litter the last scene. Perhaps Fortinbras and the Norwegians see the tale of death as  a happy tragedy.

What is the most depressing movie you have ever seen?

A number of factors may contribute to the use of the word depressing, not just the story line:

  • A movie may fail to engage us or even interest us (I have walked out on a couple in my day).
  • A movie may offend us.
  • A portion of a movie may touch our lives in painful ways.
  • A movie may leave us wishing we had those moments of our life back.
  • A poorly made movie may leave us wondering what could have been.
  • Some or all of those factors may combine in the same film.

What is the most depressing movie you have ever seen?

A depressing movie does not always correlate with my judgement of a movie’s quality. Movies may tell depressing stories extremely well. As noted above, I have viewed several versions of Hamlet several times. Well, I could only make it through the Mel Gibson version once, but I have viewed other versions , including Branagh’s, multiple time.

Excellence and a depressing tale may coexist. Profound insights may move us to acts of  peace, justice, and love.

On the other hand, I have disliked plenty of movies I would not consider depressing. The Green Lantern springs to mind.

What is the most depressing movie you have ever seen?

My friends and family responded with quite a list. Several insights came to me as I read their list:

  • I have seen almost all the films they named.
  • Of those I have seen, I would have put most, not all, of them on my list of films with depressing story lines.
  • One of my favorite movies was named and affirmed. It would not appear on my list.
  • Of course, I asked people for their opinion – not to guess mine.
  • While I had seen almost all of named movies, I only owned one of them – the one that would not appear on my list.
  • That strikes me as a good thing.

What is the most depressing movie you have ever seen?

I went with a subset of that question. What is the most depressing movie that I own? After some reflection and some looking, I went with Paths of Glory Several others came to mind as I watched.

What is the most depressing movie you have ever seen?

I realize I ask from a point of privilege. I have the disposable income to own and go to movies. I have the leisure time to watch and reflect on movies. And I have the technology and the time to blog about it all.

See you along the Trail.

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2 Comments

Filed under Family, Friends, Movie

2 responses to “What is the most depressing movie you have ever seen?

  1. Marc

    Leaving Las Vegas

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