Documentary Review: ‘Thank You For Playing’ Engages You Right Till The End

An emotional story under a novel light, documentary movie ‘Thank you for playing’ can engage the viewers right till the end. Based on a real story, this 80-minutes movie revolves around the sorrow of an indie video game developer Ryan Green and his family, as they learn about the diagnosis of terminal cancer casting its influence over their 1 year old son Joel. As a medium to capture his memories, deal with their approaching sorrow, prepare the older siblings about the reality and transform sadness into joy, the movie depicts the roller coaster in the life of the Green family. With excellent depiction, real-life touch, simple flow and engaging storyline, directors Malika Zouhali-Worrall and David Osit have undoubtedly created a masterpiece that can form an instant bond with the audience.

Depicting the creation of video game ‘That Dragons, Cancer’, this documentary movie is slated to release in select theatres from 18th March and On Demand from 23rd March. Taking the viewers through the journey of Ryan and his wife Amy, as they design the game for their little kid Joel, the story starts from the diagnosis, runs through their wonderful happy moments and concludes with his sorrowful end. A movie that prompts the audience to enjoy life at the present moment, while not worrying about the future, conversation between Ryan and Amy teaches a lot more than expected. Though surrounded by the sorrow of losing their son, both the parents decide to spend the last moments in a memorable manner.

While designing a video game that communicates with the players through the journey of Joel, Ryan and his technical supporters capture every single significant memory of the child. As little Joel fights the battle with cancer, Ryan’s imagination makes use of ‘Dragon’ that troubles the kid. Following the daily course of Joel’s life, as the players move along with him, the movie depicts the combination of arts with pain. With aid of a video game, as Ryan and his wife deal with the approaching demon, it opens the eyes of the viewers towards influence of modern technology.

Combining the skills of video game development with emotional feelings for his child, Ryan offers a fresh look at today’s world. While feelings of happiness, sorrow, excitement, guilt, joy, tension and satisfaction continue to dominate our minds, the movie talks about novel ways of expression and dealing with pain. Though technology and virtual world cannot replace the feelings seeded within our hearts, the story has made excellent attempts to display their role in a different light. By involving modern techniques of graphic designing, animation, sound recording and technical effects, the makers of this documentary take the viewers on an entertaining joyride.

Through an emotionally charged movie that depicts the struggle of little Joel, the story shall truly succeed in inspiring and motivating its viewers. As Ryan, Amy and the older siblings deal with the changing course of their life, wonderful family moments color the plot of this story. Involving their other children in the making of the video game, as Ryan and Amy explain them about Joel’s state, the movie portrays strong bond of connection between the parents and kids. From regular moments of daily life at their home in Colorado to frequent hospital visits for Joel, from clinical trials in San Francisco to outdoor activities of the family, the movie takes the viewers through the course of their struggle.

Leaving several aspects to the imagination of the audience, the documentary may tend to lose its touch with the viewers quite often.

Though grief, pain, sorrow and tears form the central theme of the movie, the makers have depicted these elements under novel shades of a video game. A different movie with a wonderful message, ‘Thank you for playing’, is certainly worth watching.

Watch this movie for its novel concept, emotional connection, interesting idea and modern touch. ‘Thank you for playing’ will touch the chords of your heart, instantly, while you shall thank it for its wonderful feel.

Releasing in select theaters on March 18th and On Demand March 29th.

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