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Whose Life is it Anyway Review

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Ken Harrison (Dreyfuss) is a talented sculptor and artist whose life is thrown upside down when a car crash leaves him paralysed from the neck down. Finding it hard to express himself through speech alone, Ken becomes increasingly bitter, and demands that doctors end his life.

★★★★

Brian Clark’s English play transfers neatly from stage to screen and from Blighty to the States, with Richard Dreyfuss excellent as Ken Harrison, the accident victim paralysed from the neck down and wanting to die. All it takes is the unplugging of the dialysis machine, but the authorities dissent. This is an endlessly topical film that can be transferred from any country to another and from any time period to another. The fact that Ken’s profession before his accident was a sculptor is a dramatic tool that makes the unfolding prolonging of life all the more painful. Recommended viewing, with fine support from Cassavetes and Lahti.

A powerful drama that never seeks for life-affirming sentiment, but rams its right-to-die message home with a magnificient performance by Dreyfuss.