Sol Tryon’s 2007 film "The Living Wake" is a dark comedy that follows the last living day of peculiar artist K. Roth Binew (Mike O’Connell). In the movie, K. Roth has been diagnosed with a yet-to-be-named disease that is as deadly as it is punctual and now knows the exact moment at which he will drop dead. Binew’s final stand is full of exciting rickshaw races, offhand harlotry and even reminiscent romance.
When people hear that they are dying soon, they always make an effort to obtain some closure, whether by delegating property to loved ones, seeing the world one last time, or, such as in K. Roth Binew’s case, finally hearing their father’s brief but powerful monologue explaining the key to a good life.
K. Roth’s hobbies include drinking twice as much as the common man, rickshaw-riding with his manservant & best/only friend Mills Joaquin (Jesse Eisenburg) and writing books deemed unfit for reading. About half way through his last day, K. Roth develops a brief bout of depression. This is quickly remedied by a small congregation of local church-goers that spur him into restoring his relationship with his estranged family members, whom he then invites to his living wake.
A living wake, what the film is titled for, is a going away party of sorts. Binew is a rare individual that confidently knows when he will die, despite the doubt expressed by his family and neighbors. He can manage to organize a pre-passing party which he uses to demonstrate his artistic genius via the form of interpretive dance and a short acting skit followed by juggling and ukulele music by his main man Mills.
Now, I bet you are wondering whether you should spend the 1 hour and 31 minutes it takes to watch this production, along with the handful of minutes it will take you to find it on YouTube.com (unless you click the link at the end of this article). Personally, this is one of my all-time favorite movies; this film is relatively suitable for any viewer of any age, the characters are strangely relatable and it includes a humorous style not experienced anywhere else.
If the words you’ve read thus far have not intrigued you whatsoever, then do not see this movie. If you enjoy dark comedies and hidden gems, then you need to experience this featured presentation. Also, if you are a fan of Jesse Eisenburg’s recent films, such as "Now You See Me" and "The Double", seeing a young Jesse in one of his earliest filmographies will be quite enjoyable. This movie will likely not be the greatest thing you’ve ever seen, but I can almost guarantee that you will enjoy at least a few moments from this very well made, low budget cinema picture.
Link to full movie on YouTube.com: