[By Bryan Lee Ming Jun]
Director: Jeremy Sims
Casts: Michael Caton (Rex), Mark Coles Smith (Tilly), Ningali Lawford (Polly), Emma Hamilton (Julie), Jacki Weaver (Dr. Farmer).
Last Cab to Darwin is an Australian Drama on Rex, an elderly cab driver living in outback New South Wales of Australia, Broken Hill.
When Rex is diagnosed with a terminal disease, he lost the will to live. Thus, he sets out on his longest journey yet to Darwin to die on his own terms. Along the way, he stumbles upon some people who are willing to help him in accomplishing his final goal.
The film could be described as a relaxing, slow and meaningful cab drive on the suburban roads of Australia. It can be seen from the subtle performances, soothing song choices and soundtrack.
Michael Caton plays Rex excellently. A stone-hard stubborn man who only travels in his own path, in the irony of him being a cab driver.
Mark Coles Smith was full of life as the colorful character, Tilly. It made the film much more entertaining with his dynamic relationship with Rex. You will not be expecting anything special or significant about the acting in this movie as the actors are ultimately just playing ordinary people that you would meet now and then.
The lovely Emma Hamilton brings a heartwarming aura with her simplistic yet kindhearted performance. She is probably one of the most sympathetic people you will ever meet.
The conversations and chemistry are truthful and authentic. This is highly intentional to make the stories and issues much more realistic and believable. Nonetheless, the actors give the right amount of emotion for us to be entertained. Even from the gloomy premise, this movie can put up smiles and laughs.
Director Jeremy Sim’s vision for the film is visually stunning with breathtaking sceneries and backdrops used throughout. Every scene is fresh and peaceful which makes the film very pleasant to watch in theatres. The production design is truly praiseworthy.
The true beauty lies within the story. It contains plenty of strong messages and meaning that everyone can take home after watching the movie. It is based on what drives us to live on and what can we achieve in our lives.
When the hard-hitting moments do arrive, this is when the emotions were at the peak of the film. The film could be very well improved if we had more character background to justify their current decisions and actions.
This could make the audience connect with the characters more. I would recommend this movie to people who want a more slow-paced film that takes its time with the story and drives you through this emotional journey. We truly need movies like these.
Director Jeremy Sims quoted “This film has been a long time in the making. Reg Cribb and I drove to Broken Hill and then onto Darwin researching the story back in 2001. So, that’s 13 years.” He also said that the screenplay was originally a script for stage plays, “Although we told a version of the story on stage a few times –firstly at the Sydney Opera House and secondly on along national tour. There was always a belief that the story of Rex would find its natural home on the big screen.”