Movie Review: “Skeleton Twins” – Twins Combat Suicide

Written by Samah Ali October 20, 2014

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Family dynamics plays a huge role in how we grow up and who we become. Parent relationships also influence our outlook on life; should we follow in our parent’s professions, model their relationship, raise our kids the same way? However, certain dynamics project negative influences on our lives and affect our future selves subconsciously. “Skeleton Twins” follows the depressing lives of the fraternal twins, Maggie (Kristin Wiig) and Milo (Bill Hader), that grew apart after the suicide of their father in a dark, comedic drama.

The inseparable best friends and twins, Maggie and Milo, slowly learn that life is not always fair after depressing events of high school bullying, their father’s suicide and lack of maternal presence. Hoping to peak after high school, the two are disappointed yet again with their mediocre lives and failed acting careers. With years of not seeing each other, they are brought back together after their failed suicide attempts and rekindle their relationship in hopes of becoming mentally stable together.

“How did we go ten years without talking?”

As with all family movies, old drama arises, although the progression of events was a perfect leeway into reoccurring issues the twins shared. Slowly introducing a molestation scandal, pregnancy prevention, and symbolism with skeleton dolls showcased the artistic style the director, Craig Johnson, envisioned for “Skeleton Twins”. Using bodies of water and reoccurring childhood experiences to foreshadow future events, Johnson reaffirmed the twin’s mental instability at a young age.

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Wiig and Hader’s performances should be noted as well. Challenging their comedic backgrounds, the two give off an authentic sibling dynamic that radiates off the screen. In true fashion, they include some entertaining remarks and facial expressions that generate laughter however they stay true to their roles and produce a wonderful performance. Clearly the two have a strong relationship on and off the screen.

“I need to know you’re not going to check out on me.”

Considering the delicacy of events and talented performances, the movie fails to give you the emotional attachment you would expect to feel from such a dark movie. With consistent references to their father’s suicide and how it affected them, you feel somewhat distanced from the characters and lack the empathy needed to push you over the edge. The exchange of emotional stability between the twins is interesting and shows their subconscious dependency for each other, but they tend to overshoot their repetitive suicidal tendencies. At the end you either believe that they’ll make it through their depression together or their suicidal cycle will continue.

“I don’t know, maybe we were doomed from the beginning.”

Although “Skeleton Twins” lacks emotional attachment and audience relation, the movie has stylistic features and amazing performances that give the film great pace and intrigue. Kristin Wiig and Bill Hader deliver a believable sibling dynamic when battling family issues and depression and their comedic approach uplifts the dark feature into a genial, triumphant tale. Clearly when combating parental issues, your siblings are your best friends.

Rating: 6.5/10

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About Samah Ali

Samah Ali

With a deep admiration for film, television, and music, Samah spends most of her free time expressing and sharing her love for the arts. Studying Creative Writing at Western University, she enjoys writing about film & music and shapes her passions with the latest movie or album available.

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