If you want a light Sunday movie with happy-predictable-unrealistic line of a story, you are reading the wrong review.
This film is an ode to silence. I find that so very rare to encounter nowadays and thus, quite precious. The main character – Eddie Marsan has a striking performance as John May – is an anti-hero, mostly just a simple British bureaucrat with a slight sad expression engraved upon his face. Solemn, organised and meticulous, he works with sealing the end of lonely people’s lives by arranging their funerals. In bringing to surface their memories, he finds comfort and a sense of accomplishment from piecing together bits of their past lives. I couldn’t help but feel that the director was very much hinting at The Beatle’s “Elenor Rigby” when working with this project.
This dynamic world, however, will not have patience with his in-depth slow practices and he will have to face a life-altering situation, losing his job. How he finds life after this turning point is savorously depicted in the art of subtle details: of warm gestures (as warm as they get in an affection restrained Britain), small victories, new acquaintances and kind smiles, if ever.
I have to mention the eye- delight you get while experiencing the film because of the very clean execution of the scenes. The director of photography really worked his magic with slow movements, symmetry, geometrically beautiful British streets, calm cloudy colours, neat patterns, and wide angle shots that add an extra heavy burden to the otherwise plain life of John May.
My recommendation? See it during an eve when the weather will not amplify the bitter drama you will experience from the film.