Departures (2019)

Director:  Peter Hutchings

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.

PerformancesAsa 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.

StoryThe 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/ComedyThe 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.

SettingsThe 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.


Scene of the Movie –
The real list.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I am going to pick timescale, not sure if it was days weeks or months.

Final ThoughtsThis 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.

Rating

 

 

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Anthem of a Teenage Prophet (2018)

Director: Robin Hays

Writer: Joshua Close, Andy Matic, Elisha Matic (Screenplay) Joanne Proulx (Novel)

Starring: Cameron Monaghan, Grayson Gabriel, Peyton List, Juliette Lewis, Aaron Pearl, Richard de Klerk, Alex MacNicoll

 

Plot: Anthem tells the story of Luke (Monaghan) a teenager who foresees the death of his new best friend Stan (MacNicoll), the most popular guy in school. When this premonition becomes reality, Luke must deal with the trials and tribulations of being dubbed “The Prophet of Death” and being titled a freak by the entire town.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Coming-of-Age Film

 

Story: Anthem of a Teenage Prophet starts when high school stoner Luke Hunter (Monaghan) gets a vision that his close friend Stan (MacNicoll) will be killed on the way to school in the morning, the next morning, Stan is killed, leaving the rumours about his vision spreading like wildfire through the town. Stan’s girlfriend Faith (List) is broken up about his death as you would imagine, while Luke feels the guilt of not being able to help.

When Luke suffers a second vision of death, he tries to stop it, failing in the process, his mother Mary (Lewis) tries to help him as Luke must face the reality that he will be heading off to college and this new pressure is only going to make his life more stressful.

 

Thoughts on Anthem of a Teenage Prophet

 

Characters – Luke Hunter is the normal high school slacker, he spends his time getting stoned more often than studying and it is while getting high, he gets the vision of his best friend dying, when it actually happens, he is left guilt riddled and scared of just what he might be capable off, add in the pressures of high school, the anxiety of growing up and living up to his parents expectations, Luke will face the toughest couple of months of his life. Faith was the girlfriend of Stan the teenager killed, she is left broken and turns to Luke for friendship through the difficult time. Mary is Luke’s mother that does her best to help him through his own struggles with what he saw and what he is going through when it comes to his future. Fang is Luke’s oldest friend, he has his own problems and with Luke being there for him, the question remains can they help each other through the struggles.

PerformancesCameron Monaghan in the leading role here is outstanding, we get to see him show nearly every emotion imaginable for a teenager going through the troubles of high school, we understand each moment and this is because of his performance. Peyton List continues to give us strong performances here with her work, showing the loss she suffered in the film. Juliette Lewis bring the experience to the film handling the mother role effortlessly and knowing how to like Monaghan take centre stage.

StoryThe story here shows the struggles a teenager has after having a vision of his best friend being killed becomes a reality and he must deal with the guilt of not being able to stop the accident, while continuing to use this gift to try and help other people close to his life with their own struggles. This story gets to reflect high school anxiety, pressure and demand with the guilt of not being there for friends, showing us how a couple of moments extra time with each person in your own life will provide a positive out light which will make life more enjoyable, even after getting through tragic events. This is going to be one of the best coming of age stories you will see this year, balancing everything out perfectly for the story to unfold at a natural pace.

SettingsThe film is set in mall town America, showing the unity between the people in the neighbourhood and the desire to escape to make the most of life from the students, we have iconic settings that will help people achieve what they want from their moments in life.


Scene of the Movie –
Climbing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How easy it is for the teenagers to get drugs.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best films you will see, it has a serious subject matter that is relatable for the audience as well as showing us just how hard the modern pressures of teenage life can be.

 

Overall: Must watch coming of age film.

Rating