Lowdown: A taxi driver dying of cancer drives across Australia towards euthanasia.
of the charms, for lack of a better word, of non Hollywood movies is
their naïveté. As in, not all movie in this world have to be about cash
grabbing and box office income. Last Cab to Darwin is such an example, a
lovely Australian film that - as lovely as it is - sets its aim on too
large a target to be a hit.
follow Rex (Michael Caton), a oldish taxi driver from Broken Hill NSW. That town is
officially a dying town, an old coal mining town in the thick of Middle of Nowhere, Australia, that is now running out of water IRL. Our hero has
mates and people that know him around town, but he never stepped out of Broken Hill and into
Rex lives on his own,
sort of, having an interesting relationship with the female aboriginal
neighbour across the road, Polly (Ningali Lawford). Then he gets the news that he is dying of
cancer, and dreading the prospects of having to lie at the mercy of
others he sets out to Darwin - a city on the northern top of Australia
where [as per real life events] there is a doctor offering to test the
law and attempt euthanasia (Jacki Weaver).
he sets out on a long drive, on his own and without telling anyone, to
Darwin. Just him and his cab. Only that, on his journey, he meets all
sorts of people and experiences all sorts of experiences, and these make a difference.
Last Cab to Darwin ends up a mixed bag. It is full of cliches, both of
the Australian type and the run of the mill ones that often fill B grade
films. On the other hand, it deals with some heavy themes that usually
can take over entire movies on their own - Australia's dealings with its
original land owners, euthanasia. And it just happens to bite more than
it can swallow.
Overall: A nice
film to watch for the right mood, but a compromised one at that. Last
Cab to Darwin is thus a 3 out of 5 crabs movie.