"Attitude Is Everything"
What You Need To Know:
The story in NINE DAYS is extremely original and is delivered with intensity through the directing, editing and the performances. NINE DAYS has many positive life-affirming messages about love and attitude. Eventually, Will learns that life is full of beautiful moments, but those moments will only be experienced if you look for them. However, the movie contains some graphic violence and strong foul language. Also, it depicts a strange, fantastical, non-biblical
afterlife, but the story plays more like an allegory and a contemplation on life than an attack. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for NINE DAYS.
NINE DAYS is a dramatic fantasy about a pessimistic man who interviews five unborn souls to assess which soul deserves life on earth and discovers some things about life that change his own attitude. NINE DAYS presents an original, thought-provoking, ultimately life-affirming allegorical story that’s executed almost flawlessly, but it contains questionable elements, including some graphic violence and strong foul language, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
The movie first introduces viewers to the main character, Will, who interviews unborn souls to assess whether they deserve to be alive. Will’s experiences on earth as an actor have caused him to have a pessimistic outlook on the world. Also, Will is heartbroken over the suicide of one woman, Amanda, whose life story comes across Will’s desk. Amanda was a musical prodigy, and Will can’t understand what caused her to take her own life.
Will has a friend, Kyo, an unborn soul who invites himself over to watch the lives of Will’s human selections through multiple television screens. After Kyo comes over to watch TV, Will goes to bed early as a new trial of five unborn souls is about to begin. The following day, five souls, Mike, Emma, Maria, Kane, and Alex, arrive to see if they have what it takes to become “alive.”
Will explains he’s just a cog in the wheel and that the trial will be over the course of nine days using questions and real-life scenarios. Will asks intense questions, forcing the souls to think about unpleasant situations where loved ones are harmed, and how they would react. The five souls have vastly different personalities and react differently to these questions. One soul in particular, Emma, is unusual because she asks more questions than she answers.
Will asks the five souls to take notes on the other humans whose lives are being observed through the television monitors. The souls watch the humans fall in love, have children, get hurt, and die. The experience is overwhelming. Afterwards, however, all the souls still want to be born.
The first-person Will rules out is Mike, who loves the ocean. Will recreates an experience for the souls who aren’t selected. So, when Mike decides he would like to experience the beach, Will builds a fake beach with sand, water and visuals for him. Will is the only interviewer of unborn souls who does this.
After this experience, Will returns to reading the notes of the remaining four souls. Will is frustrated with Emma, because she’s not selective enough with her notes. Kyo tells Emma that Will’s experience on earth hurt him because he was too kind, special and sensitive. Therefore, Will looks for contestants who are tough and have a realistic perspective on the world. After a couple more days, Alex and Maria are let go from the running to become human, leaving Emma and Kane as the final selections.
A surprise visit by an interviewer who has a connection to Amanda leaves Will distressed and even more heartbroken. The interviewer confirms that Amanda’s death was a suicide because she left a note with her reasoning. Will burns her file and prepares for another selection to be chosen for life. Kyo reveals that Amanda was hurting the way that Will was hurting when he was a human on earth himself.
On the eighth day, Kane and Emma have a final dinner with Kyo and Will. Will asks the souls to tell a story about something that disgusts them. While Kane gives an answer about two girls who were murdered, Emma tells an immature story with potty humor. Will decides Kane should be chosen for life because he has a guarded personality and can survive in the cruel real world.
After the decision, Emma leaves a letter for Will where she recounts all the beautiful things that she witnessed over the nine-day journey. Upon discovering the letter, Will is filled with regret and runs out to find Emma so he can fulfill the experience that she asked for in her interviews. When Will finds Emma, their encounter changes his attitude about life.
NINE DAYS is like no other movie that you may have seen. The plot is extremely original and is delivered with intensity by the direction, editing and performances, including the performances of Winston Duke, Bill Skarsgard and Zazie Beetz as Will, Kane and Emma. NINE DAYS is thought-provoking and infers that attitude is everything and will determine how you live your life. Life is full of beautiful moments, but those moments will only be experienced if you look for them. Also, in one scene, Kyo tells Will that all you need is love. In another scene, Emma forgives Will.
NINE DAYS includes many positive life-affirming messages about love and having a positive attitude, but it also contains a strange almost neo-platonic view of souls as well as some graphic violence and strong foul language that sometimes dominate the story. For example, a woman commits suicide by driving into a wall; a man is killed by a gunshot; another man is covered in blood; Will hits himself and twists the arm of another unborn soul; Kane tells a graphic story about two young girls who were raped and murdered; and, a teenager kills another classmate by hitting him over the head. Moreover, Will and the other soul interviewers are “playing God” as they decide which souls get to inhabit life on earth. That said, the movie plays like an allegory about life and the human condition that’s ultimately life-affirming and supports a positive, optimistic attitude.
Overall, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution because of the strong violence and foul language in NINE DAYS.