Indie Classics: The Living End
To be totally honest, I am still in shock. I picked a movie I would have never seen in my life, with no idea what I would be walking into, and I watched it completely surprised. I sat down with my friend Aubrey, who is a fairly devout Christian, a peanut butter and honey sandwich, and a clear mind ready for anything. But what I didn’t expect was for Gregg Araki to blow my brain to smithereens with the shocking reality of the subject. I am sitting here once again in the same chair, about a month later, and still unsure of how I feel about it.
The story begins following two men who couldn’t be further different from one another. One man is a very reserved, almost conservative in taste, man who recently learned he is HIV positive. As Jon sits often to chat with his best girlfriend, he begins to feel that his life really is ending, and this is the living end for him. He meets Luke one day, as he picks him up hitchhiking. Jon is running from his problems, which also include being HIV positive. As the two men work through their problems, they bond a friendship unique to them and become a dynamic duo. Their relationship has its own pitfalls and of course, its successes. As their relationship grows, however, Luke admits that the way in which he wants to die, is while having sex with Jon.
As is expected, but not believed, Luke pulls out his gun at the end of the film, much like he had done for the entire film, and tells Jon to shoot him. [Heres the part where I have to ruin the ending, so just skip these sentences if you want to remain unknowing.] Jon cannot shoot Luke, and the two manage to still be alive, for one more day. Though I am still shocked to even think about the film, I know the message hit true. It is a film to see, not only to say “Oh, I saw ‘The Living End’ the other night, it was great!”, but also to understand how others are treated, and the torment in which people get lucky or unlucky constantly in life. I wouldn’t say it is the best film I have ever seen, however, I will say that it is the most provoking and strong film I have seen yet.