The beautiful but overreaching ‘@SuicideRoom’ tackles more plot than it can handle
by Steven Foster
Dominik, spoiled son of a Polish politician and an icy ad exec, may be manor-born, but inwardly he’s miserable. His spiral begins after graduation where, on a dare, he kisses his friend Aleks for full viral view. Mostly, the Internet response is “Wow! Hot, you guys!” and “I got a girl boner.” But when Dominik pops his own boner during a wrestling match, Aleks makes Dominik the new queer laughing stock. Humiliated, Dominik locks himself in his room, discovering a virtual world online called The Suicide Room, where everyone is sexy, cool, and is an expert katana-wielder. Soon, the Queen of the Suicide Room reveals her darker designs, and Dominik falls down a dangerously self-destructive rabbit hole.
The movie certainly looks gorgeous, and the animated sequences in the virtual world have a seductive, glowing goth beauty. There are some powerful messages here about familial isolation, alternate community, and gay bullying, but the obviously talented writer-director Jan Komasa eventually buckles under his own narrative burden. If Hollywood decides to make an Americanized remake (and @SuicideRoom screams for one), they need to pick one story and stick with it—innovative virtual reality thriller or searing coming-out drama for the post-Internet age.