Friday, March 23, 2012

4:44 Last Day on Earth Movie Review

4:44 Last Day on Earth Movie Review, Written by: Karen Benardello

Director: Abel Ferrara (‘Chelsea on the Rocks’)

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh (‘Public Enemies’) and Natasha Lyonne

People have always wondered how they would act in the wake of the inevitable destruction of the world. While some may naively believe that they can implement a way to stop nature and the destruction of life as humans know it, others choose to accept their fate and make peace with their mortality. This all-important question is the main driving force in the new sci-fi drama ’4:44 Last Day on Earth.’ The main characters in the film have come to terms with their lives coming to an end, and instead focus on making peace with each other.

’4:44 Last Day on Earth’ follows a seemingly mismatched, but in love, couple-the older, successful actor Cisco (played by Willem Dafoe) and the younger, naive painter Skye (portrayed by Shanyn Leigh)-as they come to terms with the looming end of the world. Due to irrevocable circumstances that scientists can’t reverse, including extensive global warming, the entire human race has come to accept that at 4:44 am tomorrow morning, the world’s population will succumb to death. While Cisco and Skye have accepted their pre-determined fate, they are still struggling with their insecurities with themselves, their relationship and their seemingly broken bonds with those closest to them, including Cisco’s ex-wife and daughter.

Abel Ferrara, the writer and director of ’4:44 Last Day on Earth,’ deserves credit for creating an apocalyptic sci-fi film that focuses on the psychology and relationships of the main characters as they approach the end of the world. Instead of heavily relying on special effects to explain the reasoning behind the catastrophic event, the filmmaker uniquely featured Cisco and Skye’s perspective of what’s happening around the world from their apartment. Between watching television news programs about the latest updates and using Skype to say their final goodbyes to their families, the two must come to terms with the ending of their taboo relationship.

The strenuous efforts Cisco and Skye take to support each other while, and control how, they face their mortality perfectly mirrors the human race’s desire to always take charge of their situation. The two characters’ inability to console each other reflects people’s incapability to fully steer the path of the environment and nature. Skye’s feelings of helplessness and inferiority to Cisco’s ex-wife and her take-charge attitude shows that nature doesn’t always have regard for the human race’s emotions and desire to stay alive. While people are aware of the dangers of global warming, like Skye is attentive to Cisco’s ex-wife’s disdain to her, there is little anyone can do to change a course of action that’s already set in motion.

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