Entertainment Hive 2018

Last Cab To Darwin

Review by Honey B

Director: Jeremy Sims Cast: Michael Caton, Ningali Lawford-Wolf, Mark Coles Smith, Jackie Weaver, Emma Hamilton, David Field, John Howard, Alan Dukes Plot: Rex (Michael Caton) is a cab driver who has never left Broken Hill. When he discovers he only has three months to live, he decides to drive through the heart of Australia to Darwin where he has heard he can die on his own terms in light of the recently passed euthanasia laws. But along the way he discovers that before you can end your life, you have to live it and to live it, you have to learn to share it. Verdict: The desire to die on your own terms is one that many people feel. That's exactly the emotion the Australian drama, Last Cab to Darwin, explores as veteran cab driver Rex Macrae (Michael Caton) stares death in the face as he comes to term with the fact that he has just three months to live. Rex hasn't travelled far in his life, he's never left his hometown of Broken Hill. He enjoys drinking at the pub with his mates, talking to his furry pal, Dog, listening to his vinyl records and then there's his secret love, Polly (Ningali Lawford-Wolf), an indigenous woman who lives across the road and happily bickers with Rex while also sharing a bed from time- to-time. Most days are the same, until Rex discovers that the doctors can't do anything to stop his stomach cancer and he only has three months to live. As fate would have it, Rex has heard about a potential loophole in Northern Territory law that will give him legal access to a medically- supervised euthanasia machine through a Dr Farmer (Jacki Weaver). Instead of facing those that love him, Rex contacts Dr Farmer and takes off to her practice in Darwin to end his life - and bypass painful goodbyes. The 2000km trip north to Darwin features some beautiful cinematography by Steve Arnold and the score by Ed Kuepper is guitar-driven. It's the characters that the laconic cabbie meets along the way that drive this moving tale forward and Caton is at his best - as well as being in every scene - in this poignant Australian tale. Rex's first cab mate, Tilly (Mark Coles Smith) is a young, charming Aboriginal man who has a beautiful smile that belies his fears and while Emma Hamilton as young British nurse turned backpacker barmaid, Julie, adds a shot of sunshine and freedom to the moving film. Julie is also the person that see Rex for who he is whereas Jackie Weaver's Dr Farmer merely wants him to die - without scratching the surface of the man. Weaver's character is the least likeable in this movie and she seems a bit disconnected - her role doesn't quite ring true. Whereas Caton and Ningali Lawford-Wolf are worth cheering for. Lawford-Wolf is as passionate as she is feisty. The strong themes of mateship and quirky Australian nature shines through in this film. Last Cab To Darwin is a slice of Australia.
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