Film Review: Any Day Now (2014)

During a course called Introduction to German Literature, a few of the students including myself were given a topic to debate on. My partner and I had to argue that literature, too, has to be socially and politically aware and that it shall participate in the pending issues of the given period of time. I found it easier to come up with supporting arguments than to think of possible critical remarks from the opposition team – which means I basically was to play on the side I was already on. For those who do not agree with the statement above, the movie Any Day Now(2014) may be less attractive. But I would like to give it a 4. Out of 5, of course.

I. Music

The songs made this a very pleasing film, thanks to Mr. Cumming, one of the leading actors. The film was released by a different title than the original one around where I live(which is an un-rare occasion – the adaptation is quite acceptable most of the time for the audience’s better understanding of the film) and I did not know 0f the original one before the film started, which left me with only a little time to think about how it relates to the movie itself. So it struck me hard when Rudy sang the same-titled song at the very end, realising all of a sudden why it was called Any Day Now after all. I can’t seem to recall very accurately but it was probably the only song that conveyed a truly tragic message. Under the circumstances it was extremely appealing and resonated for a long time, lasting even until after I came out of the cinema.

II. Hand-held video camera

Like many of families with kids would, Rudy and Paul uses a hand-held video camera to record pieces of their lives with Marco. Those scenes contrast with the others and made me feel sort of nostalgic, reminding me of the video tapes of my own family from longer than a decade ago. It was a very effective equipment to create a warm and fuzzy feeling, a sense of belonging and of a loving family.

III. Marco’s death

This is the part that I liked best about this film. The death of Marco is the climax of the entire film and has all the right reasons to have been portrayed as an emotional and tragic event. But this film did not. It does not directly show the viewers that Marco has died while endlessly walking, thinking solely of returning home. The decision not to show how Marco died was a very important call because it tells the viewers that Rudy and Paul were completely helpless and had absolutely nothing they could do about it. The only emotional reaction that people would normally expect from movie personae who find themselves in such situations was the scene where Rudy sang the song ‘Any Day Now.’ It was as if Rudy and Paul already knew how it all would end from the beginning and had been expecting such tragedy.

There are a lot of films out there that try to tell us something similar, but this restriction of empathy makes Any Day Now stand out among them.

There was something about this film that pokes you and tells you repeatedly “Hey, this is a movie, after all. It wants you to receive this message that it is trying to give you.” But, like already mentioned at the beginning, I believe that some films as well as literary works can and shall act in a way that it leads people to think about certain issues. And I also believe it would be quite meaningless to materialise my thoughts on the matter here in this post. More important is that it was a good film, not a waste of time and money at all.

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