Last Cab To Darwin:"Heart, soul, love, life, death"
Confronting death in movies is difficult under any circumstances. In Last Cab To Darwin, Michael Caton, as Rex, a Broken Hill taxi driver dying from cancer, presents us with a personal and emotional enactment of an old man confronting death.
The film takes us on a journey across the harsh yet beautiful landscape between Broken Hill and Darwin as Rex drives his taxi to visit Dr. Farmer, an advocate for euthanasia. It is an emotionally, gut-wrenching tale of one man’s determination to choose when he dies.
Rex & Tilly
The stark countryside mirrors Rex’s loneliness. He, apparently, has no one in his life apart from a few drinking mates at the pub. Then he meets Tilly, a young Aboriginal man who is the embodiment of exuberance and carefree living. Tilly’s euphoria hides his insecurities. He has taken the wrong road too many times and is directionless when he meets Rex. The two of them become unlikely road trip buddies.
Polly & Rex
Polly, Rex’s neighbour in Broken Hill, is closer to Rex than he cares to admit in public because Polly is black and Rex is white. Issues around racial differences surface in low-key yet influential ways throughout the film. Their love is exhibited around cups of tea in the morning and the gentle touch of hands. The opening sequence of the film will introduce you to Polly in no uncertain terms and a mouthful of attitude.
At times, the film resorts to sentimental and clichéd poetic imagery, including the notion that a person’s death is like the sun setting on a picturesque landscape.
Michael Caton is the heart and soul of the movie while Tilly and Polly are life-affirming people in Rex’s life. Tilly also provides humorous moments as counterpoints to Rex’s tragedy. Rex may be dying but they offer him love unconditionally, although sometimes begrudgingly.
Your heartstrings will be tugged. Rex’s imminent death will definitely challenge you.
Australian films don't get much better. At the expense of clichés and puns, Last Cab To Darwin is worth the fare.
PLEASE NOTE: The blog post, Last Cab to Darwin, supplements the review for June Again, which has been posted. I suggest you read the two reviews in tandem as they have similar themes and ideas.
FILM EXTRAS | Awards & Official Trailer
Official Trailer Last Cab to Darwin
Last Cab To Darwin (2015)
Last Cab to Darwin is a film adaptation of a 2003 Australian drama/comedy stage play written by Reg Cribb and based upon the true story of taxi driver Max Bell who was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer in the early 1990s.
WATCH: Last Cab to Darwin (You Tube)
The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards:
Best Actor: Michael Caton
Best Adapted Screenplay: Reg Cribb, Jeremy Sims
Film Critics Circle of Australia (FCCA)
Best Actor: Michael Caton
Best Supporting Actor: Mark Coles Smith