The Last Days (Los últimos días), written and directed by David and Alex Pastor, 2013
What a pleasure! The Pastor brothers have done something genuinely fresh here. This movie is set in modern Barcelona, some months after the outbreak of a sort of global plague of agoraphobia, so severe the victims inevitably die within seconds of being outdoors.
But we don’t actually get any kind of info dump for more than half an hour. The movie starts by showing us the situation most of a year later, and all the ways people struggle to cope indoors and underground. (They can look out without the Panic gripping them, but that’s as far as it goes.) It’s tough. In the midst of this, a couple of guys at a software firm work out a way they can each go check on someone they love, and off they go.
I’ve long been a sucker for empty-city scenes. This movie has some great ones – Barcelona is such a beautiful city. But they mean something different here, because those buildings aren’t full of bodies, or zombies, but of people alive and…not well, but managing, who simply can’t go out under the sky anymore.
The protagonists are engaging, the production is wonderful, the music is great. I can hardly recommend this too highly.
Tally: 7 new, 4 rewatched, 1 dumped (earlier posts in this series are up on my Google+ stream).