Ritual

Ritual ★★★★★

The infinite present, a perpetual moratorium on the future. In our futures is happiness, comfort, a time where our goals have been achieved. The future is also terrifying, unknowable, unreachable. When we're at our lowest it's easier to think in terms of today, to think in terms of rituals, the things we do to get us through this one day. When you create these rituals, it feels like tomorrow never comes. Tomorrow is the day when things feel fresh and new, not the day that feels the same as every other. Today doesn't end until you manage to reconcile with the things that are keeping you trapped there, and when you're trapped in today, finding those forms of reconciliation is one of the most daunting tasks imaginable.

Depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and the irrational nature of mental illness is all captured beautifully through Anno's lens. He has such a gentle touch with these difficult issues, and his portrayal here feels so empathetic and understanding. It doesn't criticize or judge, it just displays how crushing things can feel, and how much the little things can matter. It's so difficult to explain the reasons why you make certain decisions when you're trapped in that infinite loop of depression, guilt, paranoia and anxiety. She goes out of her way to stand on the precipice of death, not intentionally wanting to fall but ready to accept death if it comes. Repetition of the core of depression, feeling like maybe things would be better if you just disappeared. Things would at least be easier, right? The monotony of the prison of today becomes an unbearable weight, and escape through death at times feels easier than escape through getting better.

Sometimes, the only hope is someone else, someone to come and take our hand. They can't help us, nor is it their responsibility to. We are all, at the end of the day, responsible for ourselves, but that doesn't mean that someone can't help share the burden just by existing with us. By understanding the burden we bear, by just being there. Tomorrow, we'll still be together. And sometimes, that's enough.

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