I mean, talk about a yawn-fest. Last Days is one of the most dull and uninteresting films I have ever seen. I’m familiar with Van Sant’s style so I was prepared for long scenes of “not much really happening” but Last Days takes this to an unbearable level. This is Gus Van Sant’s depiction of the final days of musician Kurt Cobain. He was unable to get the rights to Cobain’s story so here our protagonist is called Blake. The film revolves around Blake’s isolation from reality and his attempts to separate himself from the world, hiding from anyone who comes to find him. Blake is played by the usually riveting Michael Pitt, an actor I thought I could like in anything. After being mesmerised by his performances in John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Michael Haneke’s remake of his own Austrian film Funny Games, I was sure Pitt could do no wrong. That was back in the good old days, two weeks ago, when I hadn’t wasted one hundred minutes of my life on Gus Van Sant’s most pretentious drivel. Last Days truly is the definition of ‘hideous self-indulgence’.
Van Sant has made other films, that I have enjoyed, in which we watch people simply wandering around. Elephant is one of my favourite contemporary American art house pieces. I wasn’t waiting for an explanation from Last Days, or for the characters to have sudden revelations, I was fully aware that Van Sant wouldn’t provide such things. Last Days didn’t seem to have anything interesting to say. In fact, it didn’t have anything to say at all. It is difficult to even applaud the technical elements of the film which are so basic and predictable. I still can’t grasp why it is that I hated this film so much. Perhaps I’m mostly angry with myself. I’m infuriated that I kept watching beyond the first ten minutes, clinging to a strand of hope that it might start to improve. Last Days, in all its monotonous arrogance, has succeeded in one area – it has successfully destroyed my personal belief that every film is worth seeing at least once.
Thanks for reading and let’s all keep supporting our beloved film industry.