Dead in a Week: Or Your Money Back is a dark comedy from director Tom Edmunds (Is This a Joke? 2011). The film stars Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk 2017) as William, a troubled writer who has failed at his ninth attempt to commit suicide. Despondent, he outsources the job to an aging hitman named Leslie, who’s played by Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton 2007). But a meeting with spirited publisher’s assistant Ellie (Freya Mavor: The Emperor of Paris 2018) gives William a change of heart, and soon he’s not so certain that he wants the contract fulfilled. Leslie, meanwhile, has other ideas.
For a film with as dark and potentially touchy a subject as suicide, Dead in a Week: Or Your Money Back manages to carefully balance the macabre with wicked humor. From the first moment we meet William as he’s attempting to jump off of a bridge, we can sense a certain amount of levity to the story that will keep it from getting too dark. The writing is sharp and the actors play their parts with perfect slapstick timing.
At heart, this film is a character-driven drama, and the performances are really terrific. I admit, I’m a huge Tom Wilkinson fan, and he doesn’t disappoint in this one. He brings humanity and a sense of desperation to Leslie that makes the hitman more than a one dimensional character. He has a loving wife and two budgie birds, and he plans to take a cruise when he retires. Wilkinson makes Leslie empathetic, sincere, and caring beneath his all business hitman exterior.
Both Aneurin Barnard and Freya Mavor are terrific as William and Ellie as they try to avoid Leslie’s overzealous need to complete his hit. Barnard gives an especially inspired performance as a man both sick of life and bewildered by hope.
Check out the trailer below:
Dead in a Week: Or Your Money Back is a must see film for all dark comedy lovers! The filmmakers used a surprisingly sensitive treatment of a dark subject, and the film itself is anchored by terrific performances and sharp writing. A must see!