Film Review: Last Cab to Darwin

Discussing Jeremy Sims’s Last Cab to Darwin from the 2015 Sydney Film Festival – by Michael Hili

Michael Caton in ‘Last Cab to Darwin’ – DOP Steve Arnold ACS, PHOTO Wendy McDougall

Road trip movies can often leave their impetus for quest at the front door, however director Jeremy Sims finds substantial footing in surfacing the little presented topic of euthanasia.

Rex (Michael Caton), who has been given three months to live, skips town leaving his lass, his schooner sharing pals and Broken Hill behind after learning of the legalisation
of euthanasia up north. The film is sensitive and contemplative without the trappings of self-importance or tragedy. Rather it patiently explores diversity and humanity through the distractions of those who ride with Rex.

The film’s cinematography by Steve Arnold ACS (La Spagnola, Disgrace) cinematography is a triumph, allowingthe film a necessary breathing room with stunning representations of a distinctly Australian landscape. Ed Kuepper meanwhile manages to choreograph a recognisable yet personal score. Last Cab to Darwin finds universality in an undoubtedly Australian film, a patient meditation on dignity and choice in death, dealt with confident humour. 

Michael Hili is a video maker and visual artist based in Sydney.

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