Day 220: It's Kind of a Funny Story (October, 15)

There's a bookstore in my city that became my second (and favorite) home for a while. I made good friends there, spent a lot of time like a true flanêur between its shelves and chose it as a kind of office even. Notebook balanced on my knees, I could write for hours there. It was my place on the world out of a movie theater. But then, the management politics changed, the people working there stooped to chat with customers for half an hour about their favorite books, and that place was not my paradise anymore. This detachment is the only explanation of why I hadn't stuck with Ned Vizzini from the first time that I hold one of his books.

Galifinakis is incredibly good here
I'd noticed his books before, especially the one that was adapted on today's film It's Kind of a Funny Story. I even took a copy from the shelf, looked at it, without paying more attention to it. Because, you see, I don't wander by the shelves in this lost paradise anymore. Because of that, great stories pass unnoticed by me, what would never have happened before.

During the whole movie, I was certain that it had been based on a true story and adapted from a book. There's a sense of a personal story being told here that led me to that conclusion. And I was not wrong. After the final credits, I googled it and there it was: a book by Ned Vizzini telling his own experience during his short hospitalization in a psychiatric ward by characters and facts that, according to the author, portray 85% what had happened to him during that time of his life. 

It was impossible for me not to relate to Craig since the beginning. He is such a driven young guy, so committed to his goals and views about life that he decides to voluntarily checks himself in a hospital for his overwhelming depression. The people he meets in the psychiatric ward confirms what I think about depression and craziness: the intensity and sensibility can be so, so much, that there's not other way than to fall into depression, and be a bit (or a lot) crazy.

Ned Vizzini's story highlights this aspect in an endearing way. We see people on screen, and we have no other option that to relate to their struggles as our own. And so, of course I was crying and laughing and hoping. There's not other way with this story, I think. 

After the movie, I've read that Ned Vizzini had struggled with depression for years. At the age of 32, he put an end to his life by jumping from his parents building. He was married and had a little son. I was so sad when I've read this, I didn't know what to do with my feelings. The movie showed the contradictions presented by a mental illness, but had also ended in such a high note... That was years ago, though, a length of time that I scoured in a few minutes.

I was sure of one thing, however: Ned Vizzini did not invalidate his battle by terminating his life. It is sad, horrible, no doubt. But I'm sure he had fought hard, until he wasn't able to do it anymore. But what he achieved was big, and there's no way to ignore that. His story brought so much. Despite being really sad, I'm also immensely grateful to him for sharing his experience in such a beautiful tale. 

It's Kind of a Funny Story. Directed and written by Anna Boden and Ryan
Fleck from the novel by Ned Vizzini. With: Keir Gilchrist, Emma Roberts,
Zack Galifianakis. EUA, 2010, 101 min., Dolby Digital, Color (Netflix).

PS: Funny fact: I think that another reason why I wasn't able to give more attention to Ned Vizzini's books is because of Vizzini, from the amazing The Princess Bride... I could no help but keep the image of Wallace Shawn on my mind every time I saw his name on a book cover :)

1 comment:

  1. I think I need to watch this movie again, knowing that the autor had realy put an end to his life...