Gavin Michael Booth
Gavin Michael Booth, Daved Wilkins
A little background on this project. "Last Call" is one of those single shot, no edits kind of movies. In this case, it's two cameras running on two different people. Obviously, the two characters are connected and it's a single story - but that doesn't change the overall idea here. A single non-stop shoot of two people via a split screen image. I've seen these types of movies before and for the most part? It's a gimmick that doesn't fully work. It's really - really hard to pull this type of thing off in a way people will actually enjoy. It usually gets confusing quickly, and is a constant battle deciding what screen to focus on.
Now, with all that written, let me say this. I didn't expect a lot going into this. At best I expected an experience I could tolerate, for a little over an hour. I was wrong. Really wrong. "Last Call" is an emotional drama that uses a single take, split screen to actually showcase the talent and story. To highlight a tale that honestly, after seeing this, I don't think could have been done justice any other way. Hats off cast and crew. As you can tell by my rating, I've been forced into surgery to remove the foot from my mouth.
In regards to plot, "Last Call" allows us to follow along for a little over an hour, as two random people connect - by luck, during a night that could end in a horrendous way. Scott, severely depressed for reasons I don't want to spoil, calls Beth while she is at work on an unscheduled shift. Scott believes he's calling a suicide help line and Beth? She just cleans the local college at night. Because of a situation involving Beth's son, when Scott call she answers the phone. And thus begins a night that would change both their lives - maybe even save one. Maybe. "Last Call" is a dramatic, and sometimes funny trip down the rabbit hole for both these people. All in one take, split screen... and totally engulfing.
The acting in this film is outstanding. Daved Wilkins and Sarah Booth, as our leading characters, are brilliant. You could easily believe these are not actors at all. That this is some form of dramatic reality television show. What's even more amazing is that this small troupe cuts through the noise, and gets your attention - with no special effects. Not even any edits. Essentially, these two perform for over an hour in one take. One take! It's just a good story and some great acting. It really is something to see, and the only thing I can really say is bravo. As for the single take split screen action itself? It actually works well. More to the point? It does what it was designed to do. No confusion, no mess. I can only imagine the planning involved. Why does it work? It's all in the design I believe. Things are not a mess of dialog and actions - the production drives the focus to the side of the screen it wants you to watch. Essentially making screen number two act as background noise - until it wants to grab your attention again. Yet still, you can glance at the other screen anytime - and see just whats happening on the other end. You'll get it when you see it... and that's all I have to say about that.
At the end of the day? "Last Call" isn't a gimmicky, overly hyped production where only friends and family say it's so awesome, on all the reviews. How do I know this? Because I'm the third party here. I've seen it, I'm not biased and I still say... it's a great film with an ending that I... Never mind. See for yourself. With no hesitation at all, let me write that "Last Call" from Gavin Michael Booth and Daved Wilkins, earns it's four and a half stars. Well done.