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Film / Suicide Room

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Suicide Room is a Polish film addressing the themes of social alienation and parental neglect. It was received very favourably, even outside of Poland.

Dominik is a sheltered single child of wealthy parents. He's smart, cultured, enlisted in an elite high school and fine extra-curricular activities, and his every material whim is catered to. However, all of this rests on a fragile psyche, and after a certain embarrassing incident, he shuts himself in his room and refuses to leave. Falling headlong into a downward spiral, he finds his only solace in an Internet community ruled by a "queen" by the name of Sylwia. They call themselves the Suicide Room.

This film has a loose sequel in Hater, sharing the character of Dominik's mother.


This film contains the following tropes:

  • Adults Are Useless: Dominik's parents' standard way of catering to his needs bites them in the butt big time — not only they don't help, they actually make matters worse when they dismiss one psychiatrist after another for failing to confirm their biases. The psychiatrists themselves could be an exception, if not for that.
  • Arranged Marriage: Domonik's parents are subtly trying to set him up with Weronika, the daughter of befriended minister. Both teens are aware of this, but play along for the most part. But when Dominik gets tired with the clumsy charade, he ostensibly declares he's gay, making everyone present silent.
  • At the Opera Tonight: The film begins and ends this way. In the beginning, we see Dominik's parents enjoying the performance, while Dominik rather clearly just was dragged along.
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  • Axes at School: Dominik at one point brings his father's gun to his school.
  • Blue Blood: Andrzej's family once owned entire neighbourhood in a very literal sense. And while all he has left is the villa, he's the very opposide of an Impoverished Patrician.
  • Coming-Out Story: Depending on how much Dominik's orientation was real and how much attention seeking, it might be treated as a story of a kid who gets his face smashed with the closet's door.
  • Cut the Juice: Dominik's father tries that in a fit of desperate anger, ripping out the Internet cable. Interestingly, it almost works.
  • A Darker Me: Inverted with Dominik. His avatar in the Suicide Room starts as his digital incarnation, only to develop into a katana-wielding badass. Or is it played straight?
  • Dead Sparks: The marriage between Beata and Andrzej deteriorates along with Dominik's state and mounting stress, until there is only apathy left between his parents. It's implied they've ultimately divorced once Dominik commits suicide and confirmed in Hater.
  • Digital Avatar: Part of the story is set inside the Suicide Room, with everyone represented by their (mostly, but not always lookalike) avatars.
  • Driven to Suicide: Dominik, while Sylwia actually isn't for all her talk of it.
  • Emo Teen: Dominik, in looks and in mood.
  • Entitled Bastard: Dominik is just plain nasty toward people and is completely unable to understand there are other needs than his. He throws fits over just about anything not going as he wishes to.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: Dominik's avatar, as he rises in the Suicide Room informal status.
  • Extreme Graphical Representation: The Suicide Room looks like a hyper-detailed version of Second Life, bordering on The Metaverse. Apparently it was coded by Sylwia and Dominik's predecessor, but that's still a truly impressive job for high school kids. (Perhaps the best approach is to consider it visual Translation Convention, what the kids feel it is like rather than what's on their screens.)
  • Gay Bravado: During an "unofficial" part of the (Polish equivalent of a) prom party, Dominik ends up kissing on a bet with a classmate. Some held gazes later, the stage is set for a disaster.
  • Gayngst: Assuming Dominik really was gay and not just confused, he has extremely hard time dealing with pranks done by his classmates on the expense of his orientation.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Invoked during the prom. Ultimately girls agree to make out in front of everyone as long as Dominik will kiss his friend, kick-starting the whole plot.
  • Good Adultery, Bad Adultery: Both of Dominik's parents eventually end up having an affair with people from their work to cope with stress at home. First we are introduced to Andrzej's mistress, and it's portrayed as a deep crack on his well-groomed "Mr. Perfect" image... and shortly after Beata's affair is revealed, putting her in even worse light.
  • Grief-Induced Split: Beata and Andrzej's marriage deteriorates as their son Dominik grows increasingly depressed and shut-in, culminating in their divorce after Dominik commits suicide.
  • Hikikomori: Sylwia and Dominik (and presumably the other Roomers too) are some of the most triumphant western examples. Dominik focuses on the depression part while she has the duration.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: It's hard not to cheer for the guys from the bus when Dominik gets beat up by them. Especially considering the entire situation was his fault. First he antagonises them for no real reason and gets overly aggressive. After being repetitively and calmly told to just back off and leave them be, he keeps pushing, eventually throwing the first punch. Apparently never noticing he's alone and there are six of them. Considering how much of Spoiled Brat he is up to that point, no tears were shed during his beating.
  • Ignored Expert: Two of them:
    • First the hospital psychiatrist, informing Dominik's parents about his suicidal attempt and need for keeping the boy for at least few days of observation. Since he has law on his side, the parents must follow his orders, but ignore entirely his diagnosis.
    • Then there is the first private practicioner, who slowly works on Dominik. But since his parents absolutely refuse to accept any diagnosis at all and any treatment other than pharmacological, he's unceremoniously fired.
  • Improperly Paranoid: Andrzej is shown to be afraid of random strangers in even more random situations for no particular reasons, like assumption he's being followed. He even has a permit for a gun for self defense. Nothing ever comes from his fears, but in the same time the are not common enough to qualify as true paranoia.
  • It's All About Me: Driver having a pre-planned schedule and being unable to adjust to Dominik at the drop of the hat? Yell and swear at him, then smash the phone on the wall (and get the poor guy fired). Secretary trying to be cordial and personal? Instantly insult her and demand being called "Mister" despite being half her age and barely legal. Some guys in the bus not instantly bowing to your demands? Start a fist-fight. It's very hard to consider Dominik as anything else than extremely entitled only child of rich parents.
  • Jizzed in My Pants: The embarrassing incident that kicks off Dominik's downward spiral: during his self-defense class, Dominik has an orgasm when his (male) sparring partner puts him in a hold.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Dominik, Dominik, Dominik.
  • Mama Bear: Subverted with vengeance. Beata really thinks about herself as one, but it's blatantly clear her job schedule is more important to her than her son and all her attempts to "defend" him from experts and looking for quick solutions make the situation actively wrong.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Sylwia is an anti-thesis of one. With all her brooding, fake friendship and Drama Queen personality she only makes things worse for Dominik, encouraging him into progressively worse things and ultimately talking him into a suicide.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sylwia as she realises she talked a guy in love with her into suicide.
  • New Media Are Evil: Subverted. It looks like it's about the dangers of social media, but they're just another meeting place for the Internet generation. There is a generational gap Dominik's mother finally manages to cross, but by then it's too late.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: By sheltering him from the world around him and all the dangers (and especially "dangers") of it, Dominik's parents nurtured a person absolutely incapable of handling any sort of pressure and stressful situations.
  • No Social Skills: Due to spending his entire life wrapped in cotton wool, Dominik is utterly incapable of existing within just about any social situation that doesn't involve the small circle of people he knows and bow to his whims. The entire plot starts by his severe over-reaction to an internet post. Nobody ever said anything to him, nobody harmed him and yet he succumbs into depression and eventually commits a suicide over it.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: The story ends with Dominik's suicide and the impact it has on his parents.
  • Parental Neglect: Dominik's. They're a particularly didactic case — they are by no means abusive, nor do they not care for him. They just, somewhere along the way, forgot to show him some actual affection. When psychiatrist asks handful of basic questions about their son, they have a very hard time to give anything but extremely vague answers.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: The Roomers have particularly awful influence on Dominik. When they learn he killed himself, they all leave the chat in Stunned Silence, obviously feeling guilty and realising their role in his death.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Mother and father, respectively. She's impulsive, prone to swearing and very easy to anger. He remains calm and collected, always trying to de-escalate situation at hand.
  • Remarried to the Mistress: Gender-flipped. In the end, Dominik's parents divorced and his mother ended up "upgrading" her affair with a work assistant to official status.
  • Sir Swearsalot: Beata, Dominik's mother, regularly goes directly from sweet, cordial tone to dropping Cluster F-Bombs.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Dominik in everything but the title itself. His parents aren't simply wealthy — they routinely meet with top politicians, pass time in operas, and employ house servants. His father comes from nobility or at least very wealthy land owners.
  • Skyward Scream: Sylwia runs out of her room and then apartment block - first time in three years - after learning Dominik killed himself. Once outside, she starts screaming and sobbing to the sky.
  • Spoiled Brat: A boy who has every possible material need and whim covered isn't exactly going to understand what "no" means. Highlights include his blown-out reaction to his driver having different schedule or attacking a guy in a bus for playing music.
  • Stepford Smiler: Both Beata and Andrzej have this attitude, trying to maintain a facade of normality and wholesome family against all odds. Andrzej even openly suggest to his son such attitude as a perfect way of dealing with people, rather than being open.
  • Suicide Pact: The Suicide Room community. Subverted in that they say a lot more than act.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The way Dominik's classmates laugh at his expense kickstarts the plot.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Most descriptions of the film claim that Dominik's peers start making fun of him after kissing another boy. While he does do that, it's part of a friendly dare and his peers actually cheer him on during it. What actually turns him into a bully magnet is accidentally having an orgasm when his male sparring partner gets on top of him.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Sylwia for most of the story.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: With a twist that nobody is actually killed, since it happens in a shooter game, but Dominik has to play a one-versus-one match for a place in the Suicide Room and the guy he defeats is kicked out of the community.