End of world just begin­ning

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - Leigh Paatsch


Direc­tor: Zak Hilditch ( fea­ture de­but) Star­ring: Nathan Phillips, Jes­sica De Gouw, Daniel Hen­shall, An­gourie Rice.

ABRAVE, brash apoc­a­lyp­tic drama that achieves an in­stant im­pact, and also leaves a last­ing mark. The fi lm’s dual am­bi­tions – to keep mov­ing, and keep its au­di­ence moved – are fully re­alised. These Fi­nal Hours is by no means per­fect, but it won’t be for­got­ten in a hurry.

We need more Aus­tralian fi lms like this. Right now.

The world is about to end. A ra­dioac­tive tsunami is sweep­ing the globe, west to east. The Amer­i­cas and Europe are al­ready in ashes. Asia is just begin­ning to fry.

Aus­tralia is sched­uled for its nu­clear holo­caust in a mat­ter of hours.

If the outer sub­urbs of Perth are any in­di­ca­tion, we as a na­tion have not taken the news well. Law and order have been aban­doned. It is ev­ery man, woman and child for them­selves.

Those who are not try­ing to kill each other are more than likely to be at­tempt­ing to kill them­selves.

Oth­ers are look­ing for one last ves­tige of peace, clo­sure, plea­sure, or all of the above.

James ( Nathan Phillips) is your typ­i­cal young Aus­tralian bloke. Not a deep thinker. Has car­ried on as if he’s here for a good time, not a long time. Prob­a­bly the best way to have gone about it, in hind­sight.

But even now, with time rapidly run­ning out, James has to make some fi nal choices that must be lived with, and in­deed died with.

Should he help that lost young child look­ing for her par­ents? Which fam­ily, friends and lovers should he be say­ing farewell to?

Will it be bet­ter to get high as a kite at the end, or stay stone cold sober?

Should he draw his last breath in the com­pany of some­one he knows, or face the big bang on his own?

Watch­ing how James deals with each quandary com­ing at him – and won­der­ing how we might re­spond in the same sit­u­a­tion – al­lows These Fi­nal Hours to be­come some­thing more than a bleak, numb­ing prospect for view­ers. Young writer- direc­tor Zak Hilditch has many diffi cult vari­ables to ne­go­ti­ate to keep his movie both be­liev­able, and al­ways bar­rel­ing for­ward to­wards its in­evitable con­clu­sion.

Though there is more than the odd stum­ble along the way, the in­tense at­mos­phere con­jured by Hilditch – and its scrupu­lously bal­anced blend­ing of dan­ger, de­spair, defi ance and death – re­mains pow­er­ful and ar­rest­ingly omi­nous through­out.

Now show­ing Vil­lage Cine­mas

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