25 February 2007 | polar24
A mature, intelligent and poignant film about basic human rights we should all deserve
This is a smart, charming and intelligent film about dealing with loss, love and ageing. On several deeper layers, the characters meditate on the socialist health system in Canada, mortality, their explorations of sexual relationships and the freedom and restraints that come with maturity.
This film effortlessly presents us with characters struggling to live in a system which aims to meet our personal needs but exists to serve capitalist benefits. It demonstrates the uncertainty of life circumstances and mortality. The son's transformation from corporate power-driven lifestyle into a battle against preserving his father's memory and dignity are heartfelt captured are genuine and sincere. The role of the faithful and courageous nurse is compassionately portrayed while indicting the system in which the patients struggle to maintain power of their lives. As a nurse myself, I found it tremendously affecting and a poem to the ideals impart to our patients who have been let down in some way either by the system or in their own personal relationships.
Superbly written, one may accuse the film of being to preachy or pretentiously highbrow for these complex characters. But I actually found it terribly poetic and concise, ranging the vast life experiences of the characters and their skepticism and maturity. At times, the dialogue flows like poetry, holding no preconceptions or vanities about these people, but displaying their desperation at the state of a socialist society their has providing them with an abundance of great literary wealth but failing to meet their basic human needs.
Sophisticated, smart, thought-provoking, tender, and mature, films like this are extremely seldom nowadays. Audience can only too shockingly relate with such vividness and irony to the themes; and we are never played for fools, confronting these issues as if it were a close friend divulging personal secrets over a coffee. Films like this truly show us that life is not for granted and serve to remind us what human qualities we deserve from each other and expect from ourselves.