The Fire Within

Director: Louis Malle
Year Released: 1963
Rating: 1.0

A barely-recovering alcoholic already lamenting the fact that he's reached the ripe old age of 30 - and stuck in a troubled marriage - decides he can't find any way out of his predicament and needs to end his own life. The problem isn't that he wants to die, it's that he takes so goddamn long to pull the trigger. There is nothing inherently wrong with having the main character of a story experiencing a personal crisis, but after three acts of woe-is-me moody brooding and 'observations' that include how he can "touch others but can't feel them," it's hard to feel much - if any - pity for a man who has a lifetime of experience ahead of him. A friend pops up in the middle of the movie and basically tells the lead he needs to stop acting like an adolescent and grow the hell up, which is valid advice, but ultimately ignored - we're supposed to see his death-wish is noble, don't forget.