This was hard to watch. There is something horrendously pathetic and painful about depictions of old Australian men.
The film does the usual Australian thing of too much overt schmaltz and bathos, which suddenly swings back to a very subtle empathy and pathos. It’s a weird tactic which makes me always doubt how these films make me feel. It uses cultural cliche after cliche, but then somehow sets up some scenes such that I remember the reason why these things are cliche is because we actually do this. I find a lot of Australian films difficult to watch, because they really throw our cultural ridiculousness back into our faces sometimes entirely without meaning to. This film feels like it does this consciously – but not for laughs – which is refreshing.
I appreciated the way this film was about a person, and didn’t become a euthanasia debate film. The tension between the doctor (who needed this story to become a euthanasia debate) and the lead (who owned the story) was quite key in maintaining a sense of story towards the end.