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"Drink your beer and shut up" is the essence of male culture in
Australia. "Mateship" is the term for it. Rex, a 70 year old cab driver
from Broken Hill in New South Wales, finds as he must have already
felt for a long time - that mateship is a double edged sword. He is
diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer and can't bring himself to tell
his friends or the woman he secretly loves. "There's no one else," he
tells his doctor. Instead he drives his cab 2,000 plus miles across the
Australian outback to Darwin where there is a newly opened and
experimental euthanasia clinic. "Why," asks the woman who might have
been his wife "did you not tell me?!" "You never asked," answers Rex,
matter-of-factly. Rex has never seen the sea, among other things, and
his eyes are opened to new scenery and people. His nearness to death is
an opportunity to reassess his life and, like Odysseus, for adventure.
While much of the film is drama and serious in nature, it is also
light-hearted. A mechanic tells Rex to keep his fluids up while driving
in the desert, and Rex promptly goes into the bar for beer. One theme
is the plight of Australia's aborigines. Whites took away much of their
culture and stories, and as a result, who they are. The acting is
really wonderful, especially the lead who is a veteran of Australian
films and television and well-loved for such roles for his entire life.
I love the ornate and wonderful arts and crafts homes as well as the
scenery of Australia. The film is loosely based on a true story. The
only real drawbacks are that it is somewhat predictable and short. Seen
at the Toronto International Film Festival 2015.
Tags for Last Cab to Darwin Full Movie
, Mark Coles Smith
, Michael Caton
, Ningali Lawford
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