I'll try to post the spoilers towards the bottom but I definitely have some critical opinions of this film that I would like to share. I feel like I've seen this vaguely similar premise before, My Boyfriend's Back, Defending Your Life, a film I believe is called Rapturepalooza. If you die by your own hand, you go to a purgatory type world that seems to be southern LA near Arizona-which I'd like to touch on the landscape later.
This purgatory realm has some strange rules, there are no stars in the sky but there is still gasoline being manufactured and delivered to gas stations, clearly farms still exist as people are eating and drinking, there are jobs, a police force, some kind of infrastructure. There just also happens to be a literal black hole under the passenger seat of the car. There's elements of many other genres in this movie, there are road trip elements, a quest, there's talk of religion and existentialism, some gallows humor, a love story...I think that is all to the films detriment. The movie isn't quite sure what it is. The storyline seems simple. If you take your own life, you go to another place that isn't really heaven or hell, some ill defined realm. We have our setting. The protagonist takes his own life because his girlfriend has dumped him for reasons not explained and in flashback we only see her happy with him. We have our backstory. While out, our hero runs into a former friend from life who tells him that his ex killed herself after he had. Now we have our call to action. He must find his love in this afterlife.
But it's strange. The landscapes are beautiful, in that they show the grimy urban decay of southern Los Angeles and Arizona, the desert, rotting buildings and gas stations, abandoned americana from the 20s to the 90s. The car is a beat up early 90s POS that didn't run right when it was new. The costumes aren't distracting and the special effects are low key and don't take you out of the movie. There just aren't enough clear lines in the film, the plot sort of just moves from point A to point C, then back to B, then off to G, and it's loosely connected. Maybe they felt in editing they could make it sort of a piecemeal memory trip, finding out the reasons why you did what you did? Maybe they were trying to make a point about love being stronger than death? It's unclear. By no means, am I saying this is a bad film, it's a good little film. The acting, while spotty at times ( russian accent becoming greek, or disappearing entirely for no reason ) still made an effort.
And I guess that's the best thing I can say about this film, that they tried. Everyone involved tried, and I like that kind of enthusiasm in film. The shot composition and lighting sets the right atmosphere and does an ok job of telling a story visually, something that films with a budget of 500 million can't always accomplish.
If you're curious, give the film a shot. I would give it two and a half stars, but they only let you go full stars here.