Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Last Word

The concept of The Last Word intrigued me immediately. Evan (Wes Bentley) is a writer. Evan is introverted and struggles to relate with people. Most of his feelings are summarized in quotes taken from famous (and some obscure) writers. Evan makes his living as a free-lance writer. He advertises his services on a website called "The Last Word." Evan writes suicide notes that are eloquent and capture the essence of the suicidal client. A strange profession to say the least.

Evan's life becomes more complicated when he is spotted taking notes at the funeral of a client. The sister of the deceased, Charlotte (Winona Ryder) spots Evan and approaches him to find out what his relationship was to her brother. Evan lies, and tells Charlotte that they knew each other in college. Charlotte pursues Evan, who is reluctant to engage in any sort of activities with her. In the meantime, Evan takes on a new client, Abel (Ray Romano) who becomes sort of a sounding board for Evan. Evan's new found love and strange friendship with a client lead him to begin questioning his choices. The lies eventually begin building while the walls around Evans secluded small world begin crumbling around him.

If anything stands out in The Last Word, it would be the writing. The acting was solid, but the dialogue was unique and structured. The plot was different and unpredictable. The characters were well developed and quirky enough to capture ones attention. In essence, The Last Word epitomizes the best qualities of Indie films. There are stretches in the film that are paced on the slow side, but overall, the writing is exceptional. Geoffrey Haley did an excellent job wearing hats as both writer and director.

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