March 5, 2010 in The Reviews
A man wakes up one morning to find that he is the last person on the planet.
Directed by – Geoff Murphy
Written by – Craig Harrison, Bill Baer, Bruno Lawrence, Sam Pillsbury
Starring – Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, Pete Smith, Anzac Wallace, Norman Fletcher, Tom Hyde
Right now, seriously, right this second, go and find this movie. It was incredible. We’ve all seen the end of the world stories before but this one is focused on its lead character and Bruno Lawrence plays it perfectly. He wakes up one day and heads off to work except that on his way there he can’t find anyone else. Nobody at the gas station, empty homes, cars left vacant on the street, there doesn’t seem to be anybody around. When he finally reaches work, he wanders inside to find that a project they were working on has gone wrong and has apparently wiped everyone off the face of the planet.
We then watch as he first enjoys his new situation but is slowly crippled by loneliness. Just as he’s really about to lose it all he comes across another person, Joanne (played by Alison Routledge). Now that they’ve found each other they decide that there must be others out there and they’re right. They eventually find Api (Pete Smith) which begins an odd love triangle as Joanne finds herself attracted more and more to Api. The reasons behind what has happened and why they are still around were slightly confusing but very interesting. It can bring up a lot of opinions as to what has happened to them. Are they dead, survivors, dreaming? Is everyone else figments of one person’s imagination or are they all very much real? The film doesn’t explore these options but my brain kept working the different ideas.
The final scenes of the film were amazing and bring the ideas of the film to a grand conclusion, answering the main question of the film. I wouldn’t dare reveal any other aspect of the film that I haven’t already. It’s something that must be experienced. The performances carry this film and the three actors are convincing and well played. Each character has they’re own take on how they fit into this new society and they lead to a clash between the two male leads. Bruno Lawrence is the one who really carries the film. He’s alone onscreen for almost half the movie and his character is also part of the reason for the human races disappearance. As the film moves along and more is revealed about what has happened it gives a new understanding to Lawrence’s earlier actions.
The movie looks great and all the shots of an empty city were impressive. I’m always amazed at how a film can take a bustling city and make it look desolate and empty just by blocking off a few streets. The writing is amazing although the explanation of what has happened is a little confusing. Even though it’s a bit confusing, the overall idea of what has happened is easy enough to understand and the final moments cement the ideas. I actually went back a bit and put the commentary on just to see if the directors vision of the ending was the same as mine and it was. A truly great movie that I was mesmerized by the entire time. The world is not full of mutants and monsters and this film is very character driven so you know what you’re in for. I would highly recommend checking this movie out.
Under the marquee – Will