“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” – 2012 Film

9 Sep

Job security, pension, relationships, sugar, fat salt, alcohol etc.  All those stresses of life… that just wouldn’t matter if the world were about to end!  As the hero of the film says at one point: “I couldn’t possibly give a shit!”

The end of the World, howsoever it will be caused, will be, quite literally, an entirely unprecedented event.  And as such, we can have no certain idea how society will react when it happens (which I’m sure will be millions or billions of years from now, in case anyone is worried!).

But this movie makes a pretty good attempt at predicting society’s varied reactions: rioting, suicides, denial, ceasing to care about anything, a mass baptism, finding peace in someone’s arms at the very end.  And as such, it is a chaotic mix of genres: action movie, romance, tragedy, comedy.  The fundamental nature of this film vividly reflects a human society falling apart at the seams, dazed and unsure, as though asking simply: “What the f**k?!”

The film follows Dodge and Penny in the last few weeks of the World before the arrival of an enormous, all-destroying meteor.

OK, at this point, I need to insert my usual Spoiler Alert:

This post reveals some aspects of the plot, although there is still plenty of the plot left unrevealed.  Or something like that – as Dodge says, I couldn’t possibly give a shit! 🙂

In reality, the end of the world may well be harrowing and full of suffering for many, maybe most, people.  And the film briefly alludes to this at some points, but on the whole it is an escapist story, concentrating as it does on Dodge and Penny’s sugar-coated story in those last three weeks: Dodge, weary and jaded; and Penny, fearful, but covering her fear with a romantic and hedonistic outlook.  They are each recently separated from their respective partners and together, their new relationship is wonderfully symbiotic and mutually comforting.  The soundtrack perfectly conveys this warmth and comfort towards the end:

“Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe and to love you!”

Exactly! Nothing else matters to them at that point. Work, job security, alcohol, sugar, salt etc etc….

Sugar-coated, I know.  And that sugar coating is reinforced by the suspension of certain other likely realities: Dodge and Penny have a last cooked meal together, ignoring the fact that the electricity supply would quite likely stop as nobody would bother going to work at the power stations (or anywhere)!  

But in spite of these unrealistic aspects, the film pretty well captures many believable aspects of a world on the brink of ending: a chaotic mix of despair, fear, pent-up emotion release and aversion hedonism.


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