Ferryman is full of Pain, heartache and moments that will stay with you long after the credits roll (contains minor spoilers)
Life can be beautiful, surprising, and joyful but it can also be cruel, unfair, and unforgiving. The random manner in which these intertwine can leave us on an emotional roller coaster, where we find ourselves reacting to bad circumstances rather than creating good ones. We spend our lives trying to assert some control over our world by making choices about how we live. Should we be allowed similar choice over how and when we die?
Ferryman is the feature directorial debut from Darren Bender and tackles the controversial issue of assisted suicide, choosing to end one’s own life. Whether due to a terminal/chronic illness or just unfavourable circumstances and living conditions. The ‘Ferryman’ in the title refers to a person who is present when someone chooses to end their life. Presently in the UK, all forms of Euthanasia or Assisted dying are illegal, but the film doesn’t delve too deeply into the legal arguments because this is a love story.
Ferryman stars Oliver Lee and Carli Fish as a couple who fall for each other while at particularly low points in their lives. Oliver plays Ash, a young soldier, AWOL from the army and suffering with PTSD over some of his war experiences. He returns home looking for refuge but instead finds himself more lost and alone than ever. Following a tragedy while visiting his ex-army sergeant, he crosses paths with the mysterious Eve (Carli Fish) and his curiosity turns to affection as he is drawn in by her energy, fun and carefree attitude towards life.
The two begin a whirlwind romance and quickly fall in love but it soon becomes apparent to Ash that Eve is hiding something.
Eve finally reveals she had a chronic illness with no cure and will soon be in a position where she is unable to care for herself. She intends to end her life before she gets to that state and is seeking her own ‘Ferryman’ to support her through the process. What follows is Ash and Eve’s parents going to different lengths to prevent her from ending her life. While they fully understand her condition, no one is prepared to let her go. The pain, heartache and ‘silent screams of her parents are on display during a dinner scene during the later part of the film
This is an agonising story of love, both in a relationship and within family and the ultimately loss they fear. It shines a light on the family aspects of suicide which are sometimes not considered. Eve has already made up her mind, not out of depression but necessity. She understands the disease cannot be stopped so wishes to end her time as herself. Her loved ones therefore stand as an emotional barrier she must overcome.
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This is an intimate story around a challenging topic with some touching moments but an overarching dark cloud lurking. There’s almost a sense of Romeo and Juliet about their story as deep down you feel there will be no happy ending to this tale. Both leads give solid performance with good support from Jay Simpson and Raquel Cassidy as Eve’s parents as well as Clint Dyer as Ash’s’ Sargeant ‘Sparx’. The soundtrack is appropriately subtle, even Haunting at times with the standout song ‘ Close my Eyes’ by Michael Aldridge perfectly capturing one of the movies poignant yet strangely optimistic sequences
Being an indie film, aspects like Cinematography can be challenging but is mostly solid and consistent. Using a combination of close ups and long shots to keep the viewer involved in the scene. Light, shadow and an overall grey scale contribute perfectly to the feel
This is a remarkable feature directorial debut by Darren Bender- captivating, thought provoking and sombre. Its full of pain, heartache and moments that will stay with you long after the credits roll.
Ferryman hits screens on September 16th. For more info on the film, its cast and crew, visit www.ferryman.info
If you feel low or experiencing difficult thoughts and need to talk to someone, call 116-123 (UK). In an emergency call 999