Humanity can only succumb to this instinctive innate emotion, a precursor which is so palpable even if it’s not seen, heard, felt or spoken of…love will always have that primordial influence!
Sigma Films in association with BBC Films and IFC Films present…
There is Darkness, there is Light…
Formerly titled “The Last Word”, a tale entangled by a paradox that circles around repeatedly to bring humanity to its knees and yet everything it negates and infuse the senses was clearly narrated by Kathryn Engels which helps define what was being manifested in the film!
Yes, cigarette smoking at the street, in a park or simply at a kitchen backdoor can be the perfect alibi to clear someone’s head and a common thief to start a conversation…
Ewan McGregor (Big Fish) is Michael, he loves to cook; he wants to give his best to his customers! He is a Chef, busy, service, order, delivery while trying to ignore his associate talking about someone…he moves on to his next plate!
His performance was really played spot on, how he composes himself at the kitchen; working on his presentation, his facial expressions, carefree attitude and movements compliments his demeanor for appropriateness to his character’s culinary expertise! The other side of the coin would be his eccentric individuality! The first shot gave him a sense of a wandered off lover who can’t sleep while someone is in his bed…or if he’s sleeping in another! I find him commendable in other films, but this was the a very rare chance that he carries himself with vindication!
Eva Green (Womb) portrays Susan, a zealot for her work as a Epidemiologist, she is obligated to make sure that health events and coherent guidelines in a given population is in check while providing solutions that involves preventive measures in terms of vaccines, medicines and with intelligence reports to counter the issues involved up to the point of damage assessment and control!
She calls Michael her lover “Sailor” coming from her father’s old habits! I love how a woman eats with her hands; Eva had some moments with “Kingdom of Heaven”, she makes it so natural as she entices Michael after a quick meal and a sob story! When a woman falls in love, you can see it in her eyes what makes her interested to a man, how he works and moves! In this case, it’s the way how he takes care of a guest, of a stranger, of her vulnerability!
Coming back to work, Susan encounters a man who was contained due to a symptom which rippled out rapidly in the last 24 hours in different states! Confused and without any clue what is currently happening! The Severe Olfactory Syndrome (SOS) was diagnosed from the aggravated driver who suddenly lost his ability to smell, under which circumstances comes across to the other protagonist’s side of town. People, both staff and customers from the restaurant where Michael worked were experiencing the same symptoms! They were unprepared and without any comprehension, it turned into battling a virus that affects Europe spreading from the United Kingdom to the coasts of Spain, playing in the background of a conspiracy, a contagion…
It was typically, generally a love story but a twist of something insurmountable, encompassing everyone in the process. It was the overall backdrop of losing the senses starting with the ability to smell as mentioned earlier! Now, people just started to get really hungry eating anything both edible and inedible alike, then suddenly its gone like an evanescence, it quickly disappeared as if it was someone who was controlling them to have these moments of gluttonous nirvana!
After 35 minutes of screentime…the fundamentals of beliefs became concise, clear like a sword piercing in the open air without direction, without prejudice! As the story unfolds, the cataclysmic agenda soon unravels for the audience as we see the film turn into its wider horizons; the virus suddenly turns into a pandemic that becomes uncontrollable, plunging the planet into chaos with Biblical proportions!
Less than an hour after supposedly all things went back to normal, a scientist from Bangkok started to inform the UK that they have people with hearing problems. Named Severe Hearing Loss Syndrome, the said condition sets in another turn to the world as panic with greater afflictions come into play, bereft by the human condition to not being able to focus on logic turning against each other like rabid animals! It spreads from Thailand, India China and Russia like wildfire without any remorse or the means of desisting!
The Scottish Film Director David Mackenzie (Asylum) gives it a profound and a fascinating take on loosing something or someone in a given instant! Previously collaborated with Ewan in the 2003 film “Young Adam”, he makes another journey to humanity’s disposition to survive, an invisible enemy tearing up continent per continent! He was able to cleverly tell the story with great performers including Connie Nielsen (Gladiator) and Ewen Bremmer (Trainspotting) together with Ewan in 1996!
Max Richter (Darwin) gives his music from the gloomy violin and the tranquility of the piano as they caress the moods in every scene then carefully integrated from the camera’s point of view! Cinematography was done by Giles Nuttgens (Heaven on Earth) subtle but still infuses the dynamic of being forlorn and the chaos that goes around with it. Every moment was captured to give the pace and the flow to naturally commence as it is conveyed by the cast and at times during narratives!
With Editor Jake Roberts (The Last Great Wilderness), he helps put together a vignette of different situations around the world culminating to losing faith and still finding the strength to move on despite the desperation reeking every time the virus evolves into something more volatile! While Screenplay was made by Kim Fupz Aakeson (Aftermath) who was able to visualize a world full of passion and sensation from everything we do and instill these aspects of life surrounding these two lovers from worlds apart in terms of their profession yet bounded to their feelings for one another.
The template was actually simple, pedestrian in my opinion but it was somehow given an little bit of an ante-up coming from a background that implies wiping out what was needed for humanity to survive, it therefore leaves out the elemental factor of one of two completely opposite energies: life and death, yin and yang, order and chaos!
People say that it was flat footed, predictable and loosely up in the air in different directions. True, but at least delivery of the cast was nonchalant and effective bringing in a different take in a story that literally moves your world, appeals to your senses without the need of medication for being “love sick” nor even a sumptuous meal served exquisitely in a impeccable time like this…