Rex (Caton) is a popular Broken Hill cabbie and when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer, he decides to take matters into his own hands. He refuses to waste away his final months in a hospital and with recent law changes in the Northern Territory legalising euthanasia, he decides this is the best option for him.
So begins the epic 3000 odd kilometre drive from Broken Hill to Darwin. In his perfectly maintained yellow cab no less.
Rex tells no one of his plans to travel North and leaves a few unhappy people behind, including his ‘on the sly’ girlfriend Polly (Lawford). Polly lives across the street from Rex and although she brings him his morning cup of tea at sunrise each day and she bellows at him from across the road, he is embarrassed because she is indigenous and refuses to acknowledge her publicly.
Rex’s relationship with Polly is one way the film makers have gently explored the still deeply entrenched racism that exists in Australia, particularly in remote regions and it was good to see our indigenous people portrayed in an honest yet non judgmental manner.
On the road, Rex meets Tilly (Smith) a young, cocky (absolutely gorgeous) larrikin who manages to tag along with Rex all the way to Darwin. They pick up English nurse/ barmaid Julie (Hamilton) and our road trip trio is complete.
This movie is an absolute joy to watch. I watched it with an almost full cinema of people (always such a wonderful thing for Aussie movies that actually make it to the big screen) who laughed and smiled and ohhhed and ahhhed all the way through with me. It even received a round of applause at the end.
While the premise is a sad one, like all good stories, there is so much more to our story and our hero than his impending death. He tries to run from his life but life, with its joys and heartbreaks, it’s highs and lows, well it just follows you.
Caton is magnificent as the scraggly, cranky old bastard who is wise enough to realise that he may not be done learning yet. At one point in the movie, Rex laments that he is so old he cannot ever remember being young and when he is juxtaposed with Tilly, their relationship takes on even greater significance. Tilly is everything that Rex is not…..and quite possibly never was. Their friendship changes them both forever.
I love Aussie movies and I really, really loved this one. You should make time to see this truly wonderful movie, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
As always, support your local industry.
4 1/2 stars
Love Flick xx
Director : Jeremy Sims
Starring : Michael Caton, Jacki Weaver, John Howard, Emma Hamilton, Mark Coles Smith, Ningali Lawford, Alan Dukes, David Field
Running Time : 124 minutes
Release Date : 6 August 2015