Writer: Fergal Rock (Screenplay)
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams, Nina Dobrev, Ken Jeong, Tyler Hoechlin, David Koechne, Peyton List
Plot: A hypochondriac working as an airport baggage handler is forced to confront his fears when a British teenager with a terminal illness enlists him to help her carry out her eccentric bucket list.
Tagline – Living in the moment is hard to do alone.
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Emotional Rollercoaster
Story: Departures starts as we see Skye (Williams) receives the news that her terminal cancer isn’t giving her much more time, even though she takes the news positively. Meanwhile teenager Calvin (Butterfield) believes he has cancer with his hypochondriac state, even though every test says he is completely fine.
Calvin attends cancer support groups where he meets Skye, who wants a ‘To Die List’ which sees Calvin reluctantly help Skye complete, even though he can’t find the courage to tell her the truth, even though she is teaching him to live hi life more, than he could ever imagine.
Thoughts on Departures
Characters – Calvin is a hypochondriac luggage handler, he goes through tests believing he is ill even though every test says he is fine. He attends cancer support groups in a hope to get prospective of his mindset, only to meet cancer victim Skye who brings him out of his shell, he goes from shy to outgoing through his time with Skye. Skye is a British teenager that has been given the terminal diagnosis for her cancer, she has gotten to the stage where she just wants to make the most out of her remaining life, which sees her befriend Calvin, mostly because he is the only friend she can find in the world, using humour as her biggest defence to what is going to happen to her. Izzy is a flight attendant that has been having no luck in love until she meets Calvin and sees a different type of guy in him. The remaining characters we meet include the parents that have been through their own problems, two random police officers that end up helping the two complete the goals which will get the laughs.
Performances – Asa Butterfield takes the leading role here and over the past for years he has handle a few of the teenage coming of age roles, he has never put a foot wrong with his own performances in these, with this film once again showing him to be a big talent in the future. Maisie Williams steps out of Game of Thrones to a role that is full of energy, which should be lower in her character, to show us a character that just wanted to live life to the fullest. Nina Dobrev is the best of the rest, with the supporting cast getting their moments when needed for an extra emotional moment or a laugh.
Story – The story follows a teenage girl that is going to die who befriends a teenage boy that is scared he is going to and the two help each other learn to make the most of their life, through their time together. The story doesn’t hide any facts about the two characters from the audience, which with other films using the same subject matters have used as a late twist in the film. This story is about friendship, adventure, enjoying life and taking chances. While the story might be easy to read just where everything is going to go, you will still need to bring the tissues for this film.
Adventure/Comedy – The adventure elements used in this film are a lot simpler than you would imagine, this is because we get to see how Calvin learns to make life an adventure instead of being scared about what could happen. The comedy in the film is handled tastefully, I have always seen people say ‘you can’t have comedy in a cancer film’ this comedy comes from seeing how Skye is dealing with everything, she wants to laugh and not feel sorry for herself.
Settings – The film is set in New York, using the airport as one of the main backdrops, elsewhere we see how Calvin ends up going places he never would have considered until he met Skye.
Final Thoughts – This is an emotional rollercoaster of a film, it will make you laugh, smile and cry, sometimes in the same scene.
Overall: Must watch with tissues.