Departures is written by Fergal Rock, a magnificent feature debut and directed by Peter Hutchings (The Outcasts, Rhymes With Banana). It was originally titled ‘Then Came You’.
“I’m a little promiscuous when it comes to support groups.”
Calvin (Asa Butterfield – Ender’s Game, Hugo) is a baggage handler at the airport, working alongside his father (David Koechner – Final Destination 5) and brother Frank (Tyler Hoechlin – Supergirl, Fifty Shades Freed). He is also a raging hypochondriac, who is costing his family a fortune in tests for conditions he simply doesn’t have.
He spends all his time when not at work recording his symptoms, heart rate, size of moles and such in a notebook he carries everywhere. To try and shock him out of this habit and give him some perspective, his doctor sends him to a support group for terminal cancer patients.
This is where everything changes for Calvin, as he meets the irrepressible Skye (Maisie Williams – Game of Thrones, Early Man), a young teen recently diagnosed with an inoperative tumour.
Her peculiar brand of comedy and carefree attitude soon have him caught up in a whirlwind as she enlists him to help her to complete her unorthodox “To Die” list. She is also determined to get him together with his crush, air hostess Izzy (Nina Dobrev – The Perks of Being a Wallflower). What follows is a hilarious, riotous, and sometimes heartbreaking ride towards the inevitable conclusion.
Departures is a beautifully written film and very well paced. The humour is extremely funny but at the same time quite dark, you often feel you shouldn’t be laughing, but you do anyway. The lead performances are superb and you really come to care about Skye and Calvin. The difficult subject matter is well handled and unlike similar films of this genre, although sad, the overall feeling is uplifting rather than depressing.
I would thoroughly recommend this film, just prepare for a rollercoaster ride of emotions and have your tissues handy at the end.
“Write anything, no-one cares. You’re dying, remember?”
Departures is available to buy now on Digital Download.