Director: Marc Pellington
The Last Word is one of latest additions to Netflix. I originally watched it because of the description stating that the two characters are changing history so I naturally thought it would be about time travelling. It was not, but I am happy I watched it because the story is beautiful.
In a nutshell, the film is sending a message that everyone can change and that everyone can make a lasting impact on other human beings with very little effort.
Thus, Harriet (Shirley MacLaine) is a retired advertising professional who is everything but nice to other people. She notices in the local newspapers that people she knew have a nice obituary written about them. As she knew some of the people and did not thought highly of them as persons, she decides to approach the journalist and ask her to write her obituary while she is still alive so that she can give her approval. This is typical for a control freak that she has always been.
As it turns out, unlikely for people she thought were bad, nobody has a nice word to say about her and journalist Anne (Amanda Seyfried) is struggling to write an obituary. The two fall out because of this, but eventually Harriet decides to change something. She takes one little girl for mentoring to help her get out of the vicious circle of hooliganism, and she joins radio station as a DJ on a voluntary basis simply because she always liked music and good DJs, which is now a rarity due to advancement of technology. She also makes an effort to visit her daughter who she has not spoken with for decades.
As it turns out, she manages to make an impact on people’s lives, journalist for pushing her to pursue her dream of being a writer, little girl for pushing her to become someone and behave differently, the radio station that inherits all her records, and newspapers that obtain significant amount of money to save their existence.
The film is beautifully portraying choices people make and encourages pursuing activities even in older age. In other words, retirement is not the end of the world because it gives us time to volunteer and help others, which then adds additional meaning to our lives and accomplishments. The film also shows that people can change and become nicer whenever and that still matters and makes a difference. In addition, we learn that Harriet was actually bullied at work which impacted her personality, and thus towards the end of the film this comes to the light, which also tells us we should not judge people who are not nice but ask what made them bitter.
A really lovely film, very relaxing and positive. With all film production of doomed future it was very refreshing to see something nice.
Thank you for reading.