Directed by: Robert Gulassarian
Written by: Robert Gulassarian, Nick Mancuso
Starring: Nick Mancuso, Lazar Rockwood, Emily Michelle Lyons, Nicola Pullus
Based on Dante Alighieri's Divina Commedia and the medieval play Everyman, this thought-provoking story about regrets, family, friendship, the significance of money, poverty, the film business, working as an actor and suicide.
Nick is a veteran actor, who had a successful career but is now facing many problems. He owns taxes, has a troubled relationship with his daughter Emily and is considering ending his life. His friend and fellow actor Lazar is also struggling with his own issues and tries to support Nick. Nick is frustrated regarding the world and how his life has turned out and appears to be struggling to make sense of everything. Both Nick and Lazar have plans: Nick is planning to make a film titled Born Dead and Lazar is trying to get a role in it for Nicola, a wannabe actor.
The main focus in this drama is Nick's perspective towards today's world and his relationship with Lazar and his daughter.
Operating like a documentary, this feature examines the lives of two seasoned actors and follows them as they walk the streets of Toronto and discuss their experiences and feelings about life. Nick gives the impression that he believes the world is filled with hypocrisy and that his life has no meaning. He is angry with the world and will not hesitate to say what he truly believes. Although he believes in goodwill and fairness, he comes across as unlikeable, constantly swearing and insulting people he does not approve of.
The film shows various locations of Toronto, including the CN Tower. The addition of voice-over is often present and there are numerous montage sequences, which utilize very creative editing and the filmmakers make effective use of slow motion and fast motion and brief black-and-white cinematography. There is also real-life footage of news reports and reality TV.
Born Dead makes for a rather bleak viewing, as it does not contain many uplifting moments. Nick is a person who has given up on life and is miserable and distant. The subject of poverty and homelessness is also present and there is a nasty rape scene. It may not be a joyful movie but it offers an interesting and moving experience.