Veronika Decides to Die

 (134)6.41 h 34 min2015NR
After a frantic suicide attempt, Veronika awakens inside a mysterious mental asylum. Under the supervision of an unorthodox psychiatrist who specializes in controversial treatment, Veronika learns that she has only weeks to live.
Directors
Emily Young
Starring
Sarah Michelle GellarMelissa LeoJonathan Tucker
Genres
Suspense
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Erika Christensen
Producers
Sriram Das
Studio
Phase 4 Films
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Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
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Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

134 global ratings

  1. 54% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 8% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 8% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Chris JohnReviewed in the United States on August 22, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
The importance of living your own life
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Brilliant therapy—breathtaking really. Unethical, dishonest but was perhaps the only way Veronica could choose to live. Veronica needed to find her reasons for living, not because she should live but because she wanted to live & make the choices of how she would live. That is our birthright. I am a retired social worker & Therapist...I have lost a brother & close friend to suicide. They both died holding the views of others as more important than their own. Veronica decides to die demonstrates that another choice is possible & better than dying for other people’s inane ideas.
11 people found this helpful
Logain UT AblarReviewed in the United States on February 3, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Powerful
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Veronika Decides to Die is a film that reminds me of the importance of having dreams and putting our priorities in the proper place. In a nutshell, Veronika is successful in the corporate world, but she's miserable. Miserable to the extent that she tries to kill herself. Living a life that she didn't want but feeling the pressure to do so because of the expectation to make as much money as possible, as fast as possible. Veronika's true passion is the piano which she is exceptionally skilled. But her parents, just as too many parents screw up their kids lives, decided that following her passion wasn't stable enough so being accepted into a prestigious music school wasn't good enough. Passion is for saps, having dreams is for losers. Veronika's parents wanted her to be a real American and in America you're not good people unless you're making lots and lots of money usually doing something you despise. Yeah, major suckage. I lived that life and yeah, I thought about offing myself too. Corporate America is a dumpster fire where a lot of dreams go to die.

Fortunately for Veronika she is admitted to a facility that has a doctor that took on the challenge of treating her using a very controversial and unconventional method. No ending spoilers here. I'll just say that this film hit me close to home also because I have a special interest and respect in people would strive to master their craft. It's inspirational to see this even if it's in film as opposed to reality. Mastering a craft is not popular in general unless someone or a group can use that talent for their own financial gain. Just as legions of parents don't have any interest in the talents of their children unless or until they make large sums of money from that talent. Humanity fails again when talent, refined skill isn't relevant in and of itself. There has to be money involved otherwise, no one cares. But to hear Veronika play the piano was bliss and when a person has that much refined talent it should be respected and honored. When a person is that good, common sense says follow that as a career path. Creative talent is an amazing thing and shouldn't be taken for granted. Wouldn't that type of world be a sight?

4*, would have liked a bit more development of some of the other patients just to flesh out the world but overall, good film and I liked the ending. Very powerful message at the end especially in these times when life is so easily taken for granted.
4 people found this helpful
MiniReviewed in the United States on March 19, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Beautiful and enlightening!
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Veronika Deklava (Sarah Michelle Gellar) appears to have it all. She’s successful and attractive — with a high-paying corporate job, a gorgeous New York apartment, and loads of dating prospects. To those who seek success for the sake of having it, they’d see Veronika as someone who wants for nothing. So why does she want to die? Why does she swallow a pill cocktail and then sends an alarming email? She wakes up at Villette, an elite mental health facility, where she receives horrible news: her pill cocktail has caused irreversible damaged to her heart. How irreversible? She will die soon, out of nowhere, and no one can do anything about it. Alarmed, Veronika does things in her own terms. She still wants to end her life, but that’s before she meets a gorgeous and mysterious patient (Jonathan Tucker) and connects with her doctor (David Thewlis) and a fellow patient (Erika Christensen). She has the ultimate epiphany: she wants to live. That’s not an option though. If she must die, then she wants to live every single moment as though it were her last, but she can’t do that while locked up in Villette, can she?

I had my pick of Ammy videos to praise. This seems like an odd choice given the current pandemic, but if you’re familiar with Paulo Coelho, you’d know that his books are a rare mixture of literary, heartwarming, philosophical and ultimately encouraging. This adaptation of the popular novel isn’t as great as the book, but it’s still quite good — the perfect pick-me-up for the current climate. Sarah Michelle Gellar is wonderful as Veronika. Even though she isn’t as young as the book character, it takes a seasoned actress to express the amount of pathos it takes to portray such a complex character. (And yes, she looks young enough to play a twenty-four-year-old.) Her journey to self-discovery is enlightening and heartbreaking at the same time. The story also tackles the primary theme of the book — how material success does not equate to happiness. Dreams and success are great things to have, but only if they coincide with your values. If you do it because you feel you ought to, or to fulfill some external desire (your parents’ expectations, society’s demands, etc), or to compete with and be better than others, then it won’t fulfill you. Just make sure that whatever you do in life brings you pleasure and joy. I enjoyed this film, and the last scenes are touching and beautiful. Downsides? It’s rushed in some areas. The book isn’t long. Most of Coelho’s books are 55K words long or less, but the film rushes on the parts that matter most. For instance, I would’ve liked more Veronika scenes prior to Villette. Instead, we get a five-minute intro into her inner psyche as she goes about her empty life. Other than that, I cannot recommend VERONIKA DECIDES TO DIE enough. Four out of five caramelized cinnamon cold brew iced coffees! 
3 people found this helpful
Aiex HaloReviewed in the United States on October 21, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Not a horror movie ***spoilers***
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I'm not rating this so badly specifically because it's not a horror movie; AmazonPrime's entry for it listed it as horror for some reason. I was tricked in this way before with "Voice from the Stone" and I found it largely okay, if forgettable.

This one, by comparison, is a boring dud. Veronika goes through a whole ritual in the opening of attempting suicide, being found by her landlord or neighbor or someone and rushed to the hospital where she's saved. What reasons were given for this suicide attempt were flimsy and incoherent, and honestly they shouldn't have bothered trying to justify it at all. Suicide is obviously a serious subject matter and what ever happens in someone's life to drive them to that point are of immense trauma and tragedy to everyone involved.

This film doesn't bother with any of that. Veronika is then checked in to some kind of psychiatric hospital where she is inexplicably singled out and laughed at by patients seemingly out of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", including a young guy who doesn't speak, Edward. The doctor there says that her suicide attempt via pill overdose caused her to have a massive aneurysm which cannot be treated and she will die within weeks or months.

During this time staying at the hospital, she mostly does nothing and talks to other people. None of the other characters are particularly memorable or interesting, and I've already completely forgotten what, if anything, they all discussed.

VERY late in the film, Veronika seems to notice Edward. Despite having almost no screen time with Edward, Veronika and Edward inexplicably fall in love, about 50 minutes in to the film.

From there, any hint of drama almost immediately dissolves into nonsensical bullshit as Edward suddenly starts to speak, and he and Veronika decide to escape the psychiatric hospital, with the head doctor knowing this and doing nothing about it.

The head doctor then just leaves with some notes for his nurses claiming that Veronika was actually fine and wasn't going to die; he LIED about the EKG results out of some yoga-mom philosophical nonsense reasoning that only by thinking she was going to die could Veronika come to appreciate life and thus no longer be suicidal.

This is not only stupid beyond belief but seems pretty insulting to people who have contemplated or unsuccessfully attempted suicide. It's even more frustrating because none of the characters do much of anything to be in any way compelling, and Veronika and Edward's inexplicable romance comes out of nowhere and has absolutely no chemistry at all.
Margaret PotgieterReviewed in the United States on October 14, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A beautiful film not a movie.
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This was an interesting and beautifully crafted film. Finally, a real film, with a plot, well-defined characters, a well-casted film, and dialogue that isn't filled with gutter speak. Gellar's performance was incredible. It was so nice not seeing her stab demons or run from something. The whole cast fitted in so well with their characters. I actually forgot it was a film, it was as if I was peering into a chapter in someone's life. And it actually had an ending. Incredible these days with the continual next chapter in the life of whomever. I can actually see a Bette Davis thumbs up on this one. "Ya, done good bub." Why aren't films celebrated anymore? This movie could stand with the film "All About Eve." So I send a heartfelt message to cast and crew: Thank you so very much.
A. C.Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Why is this called a horror movie? SPOILER: IT'S NOT!
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Just take the "horror" category off the description of this movie and everything would be fine. I did want to want a schmaltzy b.s. romantic drama, I wanted to watch a horror movie. I may be uncommonly dull, but I did not notice one single element of horror in this movie. I don't know, maybe the idea that it is in an asylum and it starred an actress who has done a fair bit of horror made someone think they could call it horror, but nope. Sarah Michelle Gellar is a good actress and her performance was good (which was why it was not one star) but the story was boring. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen but it never did. This is not a movie I would have chosen to watch if it had been accurately represented.
HartiverseReviewed in the United States on September 5, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not just for fans of Sarah
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Sarah Michelle Gellar gives an outstanding performance, saving what might have been an unrealistic feature in the hands of a less capable actor.

Some behavioral health centers have been the focus of civil and criminal offenses in the real world. It's probably not widely known that the old asylums, those glowering Gothic structures built on the Kirkbride plan and tucked away on rolling farm land in distant hamlets, have been replaced with modern medical office buildings inside cities, where some of the same abuses of the past continue. To make a fictionalization of that took casting someone capable of making us understand the daily grind inside contemporary patient wards while keeping us hooked into the story. Sarah did a great job of this in the titular lead role.

Whether you're a fan of Sarah or just hunting for a good medical drama, this movie satisfies.
JordanReviewed in the United States on April 25, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Boring
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The best part of this movie is the actors. They do good at acting, but the movie is extremely boring, so boring that it is difficult to pay attention. Nothing much happens really. I can tell you the whole story in three sentences to save you time but I won't just in case you want to watch it. Have fun!
One person found this helpful
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