A hypochondriac confronts his fear of death when a terminally ill teen girl enlists him to help her complete her bucket list.
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/80203143
A fantastic, wonderfully written look at the fragility of life and friendships
I admit it: I was nervous when I first saw Maisie Williams was the lead in this film. Not that I doubt her talents as an actress, but because her role on “Game of Thrones” was so iconic I worried my brain would struggle to see her playing any other character. Thankfully within a minute of her being on screen all that anxiety was put to rest.
Saying this is one of the best drama’s I’ve seen in a good while would be an understatement. It takes a brave bold look at terminal illness and puts humanity behind it in this compelling, surprisingly uplifting story. Calvin, played exceptionally well by Asa Butterfield, is a hypochondriac who works as a baggage handler alongside his loving father and often taunting older brother. He is sent to a cancer support group by his doctor in hopes of giving him a reality check and it’s there he meets Skye (Maisie Williams) – a seventeen year old with terminal cancer.
Despite his initial reluctance the two become friends and Calvin agrees to help her complete her bucket list. It’s not exactly an original concept but this film is made in such a way, and is bolstered by a very talented supporting cast, that you don’t feel you’ve seen this before because at the heart of it, like any good drama, is character-driven progression and the situation almost becomes secondary to that. That’s not however to downplay the theme of this movie and it’s message because it is done with delicacy, humour and and deep emotion given the heavy subject matter.
A rare aspect that you seldom see in a movie today (especially of this genre) is the total platonic relationship between Calvin and Skye.
Yes they love each other and strangely enough as much as I admired this approach it almost frustrated me as a viewer as we watch romantic disasters for each of them almost wishing they would find each other in that way – although overall I am glad they don’t as it isn’t that kind of movie and it would take away from it’s conclusion.
Tonally “Departures” is extremely well balanced. It favours lighthearted quips throughout giving the sombre moments more punch when they do arrive. Our leads give an excellent performance and are played in such a way they manage to convey the complexity of their situation and bring the characters to life so that, as a viewer, you never need reminding of just how ill Skye is.
The very fact that few people have heard of this film is a shame and now it’s on Netflix I hope it’s able to get the recognition it deserves. It is a fantastic, wonderfully written look at the fragility of life and friendships and bravely tackles mortality and all that entails. Go watch it and thank me later.
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!