It is Dec. 31, 1999, and at 12 a.m. the world is going to end. Last Night is the ‘90s action movie, written and directed by Don McKellar who also plays the main role. He is trying to find an answer for the teasing question that most of us have probably asked ourselves: What would you do if you knew that this was your last night on earth?
The terrifying news was announced two months before the movie’s action starts, and we see in the first scene that everyone got used to it.
The film links together a group of different Canadians living in Toronto during the last few hours before a mysterious catastrophe. Various individuals distinctly react to the end of the world. Patrick (Don McKellar) wants to spend the final moments of his life alone at his apartment. Some people, like his sister and her fiancé choose to go downtown where people gather for a New Year’s Eve countdown, which is in fact, oddly, the end of the world. Others, live life to the fullest until, literally, the end.
When you watch this kind of catastrophic movie with everyone being passive about the current situation, you expect someone to resist. Sandra (Sandra Oh), who does not want to let the world kill her, promised herself and her husband that they would take each other’s lives away before midnight. She tries to get across the city to her husband, who spends his last night at work, but crazy people damaged her car. She runs into Patrick who tries to help her get back home, unfortunately, without any success. Chaos errupts in Toronto– everything is destroyed, cellphones do not work, streetcars are out of service and people get insane on streets.
Sandra and Patrick are stuck at his place alone. Since she cannot be with her husband, she asks him to shoot her before the world ends (as we later find out her husband was shot by a psycho from the street). The most touching scene is when these two strangers share with each other their secrets to ‘fall in love in each other’ and die with a beloved one.
In the last few seconds on the earth, they both hold guns to each other heads, which seem like a modern version of Romeo and Juliet. The camera is spinning around them for a good moment to build up tension. When their lives are about to end they suddenly drop the guns and start kissing each other.Unfortunately, we do not get to see what force destroyed the world.
Both Oh and McKellar performed with great acting skills throughout the whole movie. Oh’s facial expressions and body language clearly expressed her aching anxiety for the current situation. Yet, McKellar invisibly assimilated with his character’s despair and stoicism.
One of the biggest achievements of Last Night was when it won the Award of the Youth at Cannes Film Festival in the foreign film category.