Title: FINAL

Release Date:  2001 (December)

Nationality and Language: USA, English

Running time: about 111 minutes

MPAA Rating:  R

Distributor and Production Company:  Lions Gate Films/Indigent/Independent Fil Channel

Director; Writer: Campbell Scott; music by Guy Davis

Producer:  Campbell Scott

Cast:  Dennis Leary. Hope Davis

Technical:  DVD to 35, seems to be wide screen (2:1)

Relevance to HPPUB site: Independent film

Review:  Indigent is a new company that sponsors experimental DVD film projects from independent film makers, with new methods of hub financing. It was acquired by Lions Gate in early 2001.  For more info on the business methods, see  Magic Lantern at http://www.magiclanternpr.com/clients/ifc-indigent.html


I believe that this is Campbell Scott’s first feature film, and it is an intense, focused thriller, somewhat in the Memento genre of a character with memory loss going back in time. Here Dennis Leary plays a musician who finds himself in a Connecticut mental ward after an accident in a quarry, with a young female therapist to tempt and taunt him, particularly with the usual psychiatric euphemisms about being able to function and not be a danger to oneself. But in time it becomes clear that there is much more to this than meets the rather claustrophobic space for the film, which has shades of both “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” maybe, but, more perhaps, of Stephen King’s “The Stand.”  Perhaps the premise will seem half-baked to some, as two-third the way through a slow script the hospital staff let the audience in on what’s wrong, in a staff conference, behind the patient’s back (when I was a patient in the N.I.H. mental ward in 1962—during the Cuban Missile Crisis—I guess the same things went on). Indeed, something pretty terrible has happened “on the Outside:” and it has something to do with “The Hot Zone” and Ebola, with patients in the hospital bleeding suddenly from every orifice at inopportune times. Indeed, a terrorist could destroy civilization with a virus, perhaps. (This film, however, appears to have been written before Sept. 11.) “The country you knew is gone.” The very ending is On the Beach, literally. The music, however, is a simple, improvisatory blues score by Guy Davis, with no reference to “Waltzing Matilda.”


All of this makes the set design interesting, with the garish yellow walls filling up the screen.


The script is intense and repetitive, somewhat like The Interview (1999) and rather in Australian style. .



Related reviews: Memento


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