19 November 2005 | jpschapira
Chances of life
I talk about this every day so excuse me if I've said this before but there's a magical thing about movies portraying life as it is. It's a feeling of identification, I believe; because we all go through the same things everyday, but differently. Personally, I know how it goes with the movie because I'm from a small town, and there you hang out with the same people and expect leaving the place eventually.
Now the case of these three friends
Their town is boring, but some of them it means the whole world; because they can't leave or because they want to stay. Fitz's (Jamie Sives) dad, for example, spends the day playing cards and watching television. Fitz used to live with him but now he's with Barbara (Neve McIntosh). However, he visits and asks the same old questions: "Do you want a cup of tea?". "What did I have the last time", the old man asks. "Coffee, dad". "Then a cup of tea it is".
Questions like those are as common as the ones asked every Christmas. Fitz and his best friends Nellie (Iain Robertson) and Seany (Kevin McKidd) hang out in the bar Seany works; just to hear all the happy persons with nice cars and very happy lives wondering the same thing: "What are you still doing here?". No wonder they hate the holidays. They laugh as if the didn't care but they also have hopes, like one that comes with gold found in a crazy dead man's hand.
"They are wasters", some people may say. "A lost cause". But they know a lot, or at least Fitz does, and they're not afraid of being what they are; because in the end we are what we are. Well, one of them is, and makes some decisions trying to change it, which unfolds a series of complicated events, but if there's one thing that remains in a human being, always, is the essence. Nellie, on the other hand, is a believer, but his everyday life generates doubts in him. In the end, he makes a choice (they all do), involving a chat with a priest that after knowing he has helped desperately asks Nellie to visit him again (the town is actually incredibly deserted) and we realize that's how it goes.
It appears to be an independent work and it seems to be the first one of its director and writer Stewart Svaasand, who delivers a very promising job; keeping it real and quiet, with still cameras all around and a clear concern for the place where the piece happens. To show this, he creates a great sequence of quick cuttings showing different parts of the town. It is combined with delightful common music of the location (by Donald Shaw) that in the end becomes a major character.
The cast is, I consider, within the best and most natural this industry can offer. With Jamie Sives at the top, coming out completely different as his sad, monotone, suicidal Wilbur; and concluding a new reflexive, excited and concerned human being. He's great and I will continue with the task of watching everything he's done. McKidd, an actor with more projection and now known because of "Rome", makes a decent job in portraying the ignorant, unconfident man of the group; and Robertson finds his inhibited Nellie with the tone of voice.
"One last chance" comes as another breeze of fresh air from the United Kingdom, and it gives us another chance of hope
Hope of having good times with more movies like this one.