Friday, 31 July 2015 00:00

The End of the Tour Featured

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Modern Man Films, Anonymous Content and Kilburn Media present a 106 minute, R rated, Drama, directed by James Ponsoldt, screenplay by Donald Margulies and book by David Lipsky with a theater release date of July 31, 2015.


David Foster Wallace(Jason Segel) has died. Born in 1962 this author passed away in the year 2008. Twelve years before his death David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) a reporter for the Rolling Stone approaches his Editor (Ron Livingston) about writing a story about Wallace and his current tour regarding his epic novel, “Infinite Jest”. Rolling Stone has not covered a writer in their publication for over ten years and after some thought by his boss; Lipsky leaves his girlfriend Sarah (Anna Chlumsky) and New York behind to follow Wallace for five days of his life.

Lipsky arrives in Illinois at the modest home of Wallace and his two dogs which happen to be the love of his life. Wallace is not a person seeking fame nor does he feel his looks have anything to do with the sales of his books. His one big addiction is television hence the reason why he does not have one in his home. He considers it mostly a distraction and waste of time in such a short life. Lipsky at the age of thirty is out to create a story about this thirty four year writer and proceeds to pursue many different angles yet as he gets to know Wallace his thoughts begin to get in the way of his reason for being there.

Lipsky tries his best to get to the bottom of the rumors spread about Wallace, his addictions, heroin and attempted suicide but in many cases as a fact of life stories seem to always get fabricated along the way, person to person, unless heard from the lips of the actual person in question, in this case, Wallace. Sometimes even the words from the horse’s mouth are not the ones a reporter wants to put on pen to paper since they may be true but not what sells publications.

He discusses a friend of his that tried to take his life by sitting in his running car in a closed off garage and instead of dying he became brain damaged. My dear friend did the same thing last year but he actually died. You wonder what they were thinking, why they did not reach out, why was it so difficult to deal with what was bothering him. Life is difficult, every day, there are some good days and some bad but it seems the bad are the ones we have trouble pulling ourselves out of. Like so many others we surround ourselves with pets because those are the creatures in life that will not do us wrong but can we always say the same about humans. Not always! Depression is a serious illness that can lead someone into such a dark place that there is no turning back. The question is, does life have to be that way? Wallace found his solstice not only in his dogs but in his writing as well, only a genius can write an epic novel at over one thousand pages!

The last city in the tour is Minneapolis where Wallace and Lipsky meet up with their driver and guide Patty (Joan Cusack). I like to think of her as perky Patty yet is it possible for someone to seem that happy all the time? Some people may look happy on the outside but one never realizes the hurt buried inside. There is a reason why people turn to alcohol, drugs, running ten miles a day, music like Alanis Morissette or writing, all for reasons to escape reality. Is it possible for someone to be pleasantly unpleasant? It is for Wallace! He and Lipsky meet up at the Hungry Mind book signing with Wallace’s friends Julie (Mamie Gummer) and Betsy (Mickey Sumner) two dear friends that happen to create a bit of tension between the men. In life can a person really change or is it their destiny to repeat their actions until death? Sometimes it just helps to dance. Attention and fame can bring hurt hence why some famous people try to stay in the shadows. As for authors even though they may be famous they may also be lonely writing books for the ones alone.

This film brings out the intellect in the audience making you think about life and the way you live it until death. As you can read by my review it spurs many different questions to why people are the way they are. You may not find the answers you seek within this nicely directed and even better written film but it will surely make you think since the entire film is all dialogue with very little peaks yet a lot of valleys. Segel is truly brilliant in this story making one think about life and reasons in so many different ways as the audience watches his own life through actions but mainly words. Eisenberg is not quite at the same level as Segel but he is close but I think I needed just a little more heart from him to consider him equally as good. Cusack is only a short part but always a treat. As for the other characters they were a short addition to telling the story of Wallace but overall it is the two leads Segel and Eisenberg that control this entire film beginning to end. This won’t be a big money maker but it is definitely worth seeing at some time. Written with 2.5 paws out of 4 by Jon Patch.

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