Highly stylized and compelling the movie 4:44 Last Day on Earth has been released on Blu-ray. The very dark film deals with nature’s wrath while sending a message to the failing atmosphere naysayer. Much like the recent moody Melancholia, the movie takes you on a collision course with death to all mankind. It’s not an action film like 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow that make similar statements, but more of a strange kind of Science Fiction thriller.
The film centers on Cisco (Willim DaFoe) and Skye (Shanyn Leigh) a couple of modern bohemians living each day in a fantasy world. When we are introduced to them they are in the midst of their last day alive on Earth. Actually they have 14 hours and 44 minutes left before the 4:44 AM demise of the world due to the depletion of the ozone layer that has protected the planet since the dawn of life.
During the fourteen hours we feel their love for each other, reactions to the impending doom and their regrets. It’s our war on nature that’s being blamed for the catastrophe that’s about to destroy all life on Earth. The story makes sure you know the reasons by showing the soothsayers and pundits who have ‘proof’ of Global warming. While some of them like the Dalai Lama dressed in Indian garb spout words of love, others like former Vice President Al Gore are being interviewed in the movie An Inconvenient Truth repeatedly playing on a television in their apartment.
But it’s not all fuss and loathing, there’s a tender love story intertwined within the ominous rigors of the sole of 4:44. A sensuous meeting of mind and body, the two move in rapt pleasure of their being. Even though their personalities are different, the two seem to bond together during their sexual union oblivious to anything but themselves. A former addict, Cisco has seen the error of his ways, yet in his last few hours he Skypes his former wife and then goes hunting for a fix. The frail Skye on the other hand shows her disdain for the oncoming onslaught by painting a canvas with syrupy colors that slowly form the snake. It’s her vision of what’s causing the dastardly demise of Earth’s lifeblood.
Amazingly acted by Dafoe and Leigh, you can feel the heat of their love, their concerns and the message they leave behind. Dafoe’s Cisco vacillates from sensual to caustic to obligatory and in a way accepting the consequences for the end of the world. His character personifies the ‘last person on Earth’ who thinks man could have changed it all had it not been for greed. Like a butterfly Leigh’s character exemplifies the desire for life and the tragedy of a lifetime cut short.
I am not a big fan of the dark moody film. Maybe its because I feel that all man should not be blamed for the consequences that befall them. Since the invention of coal, wood gas and nuclear burning machines that spew smoke and carbon monoxide from caves, huts, cars, factories, homes, electrical plants and airplanes the ozone layer has been affected. This coupled with the factor of abundant usage from a burgeoning growth of population has made our planet suffer. Will we meet the fate that 4:44 depicts?
The film 4:44 The End of the World has not been rated by the MPAA but contains, nudity, sexual situations, drugs, violence and language.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A brooding film that makes a alarming statement. [rating=4]
Specifications and additional film information:
- Cast: Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh
- Directed by: Abel Ferrara
- Rating: Unrated
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Running Time: 1hr 22min
- Street Date: July 17, 2012
- Language: English
- Format: Blu-ray
- Audio: 5.1 DTS, Digital Master Audio
- Video: 1.78:1, Widescreen
- Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish
- Number of Discs: 1
- Distributed by: IFC Films