Los últimos días (The Last Days) (2013)
(Rating: tbc) Running time: 100 minutes
Directors: David Pastor, Àlex Pastor
Writers: David Pastor, Àlex Pastor
Cast: Quim Gutiérrez, José Coronado, Marta Etura
Reviewed by: Kirsty Wavish
Los Ultimos Dias (The Last Days) is a tale of survival after a mysterious epidemic spreads across the world causing instant death if one ventures outside into the open air. This results in the general population being confined to indoors and travelling underground through the use of undergrounds and sewers. The film is set in post-apocalyptic Barcelona as we follow Marc (Quim Guttiérez), a computer programmer trapped at his work, in his quest to return to his girlfriend Julia (Marta Etura), who he believes is in their apartment. He finds an unlikely companion in his boss, Enrique (José Coronado), who before the epidemic was about to fire Marc, and they strike a deal to travel together to get back to their respective loved ones in different parts of the city. Three months have already passed since the epidemic went full throttle and the film has a series of flashbacks throughout that allow us to add more depth to the story of Marc, his relationship with his girlfriend and boss, and the events leading up to the epidemic. It adds a sense of richness to the story, one that’s delivered so beautifully along with the stunning cinematography, special effects and music score.
Their journey mostly takes place in the underground and sewers, after managing to dig a tunnel to get to them. They encounter some obstacles along the way, particularly people having to adapt to the new way of living, and surviving of the little food and water they can get hold of. This will ultimately eventually run out, resulting in a lot of hostile, gang-like behaviour, and an outbreak of war between two floors in a Mall. There was also an interesting scene in a church as the two travellers are faced with tackling a runaway animal from the local zoo!!
As far as the story goes, it’s pretty predictable and in a funny sort of way, it’s a feel good film as we join Marc on his journey. We sympathise for the mistakes he has made in the past, and his strive to make them right, and if anything, it makes us stop and think about the important things in life, when everything else is stripped away. It isn’t over the top and almost believable in the world we live in today. The reason for the epidemic isn’t really explained, and it doesn’t need to be. What is interesting to watch and contemplate is the consequences if such an epidemic actually took place. The film is uplifting and shows us that even in the most dire set of consequences, hope can be found.
I guess the only fault I can find with this film is the ending, which I was just a little disappointed about, particularly as the beginning of the film was so promising. It just felt a bit too over-sentimental but it conveys a positive message of a new beginning, and the opportunity to get things right this time. A definite must see!