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The Independent Critic

David Ross, Cindy Maples, Kara Gray
Joe Atkinson


 "The Last Day" a Thought-Provoking Short 

Written and directed by Joe Atkinson, The Last Day is a thought-provoking 23-minute short film starring David Ross as Frank Muncey, a father facing his 70th birthday the very next day and, as is now mandated by government, facing his termination. Returning from a final vacation, Frank is spending his last evening gathering for one final dinner with his daughter, Janie (Cindy Maples).

Set squarely within a world seemingly not that far away, The Last Day is clearly happening in a world where the polar ice caps are gone and Earth's resources are starting to disappear. Into this world. it is clear that the U.S. government has instituted a policy of termination at the age of 70 and, as we learn early on the film, its citizens are facing the possibility that the age could go even lower.

While The Last Day never quite resonates on the emotional level that one might expect, it is instead an intellligently realized and nicely acted film with both Ross and Maples making for a convincing father/daughter combo duo and their tension over the upcoming event obvious and believable. D.P. Bonnell's lensing is solid throughout the film, while Virgil Franklin offers the film a low-key yet effective original score.

Certainly a timely film, perhaps especially so given the back-and-forth chatter going on across the country as certain states face storm after storm and other coastal states face wide ranging weather patterns, The Last Day clearly has something to say and Atkinson gets the point across without ever going overly preachy.

The Last Day was only recently completed and should easily find a home on the indie/underground film festival circuit and may prove to be a strong conversation piece for film festivals with a strong social consciousness. If you get a chance, I hope you'll check it out and let me know what you think!

© Written by Richard Propes 
The Independent Critic