Last Orders

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  • R
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 49 min
  • 6.9  (6,672)
  • 78

Last Orders, released in 2001, is a British drama film directed by Fred Schepisi. The film stars an exceptional ensemble cast including Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay, David Hemmings, Helen Mirren, and Ray Winstone. The story is set in South London, and it follows a group of lifelong friends who gather to honor the final request of their close friend, Jack Dodds.

The story begins with the death of Jack Dodds (Michael Caine), a butcher of Bermondsey, South London. During his funeral, his friends Vic (Tom Courtenay), Ray (Bob Hoskins), and Lenny (David Hemmings) meet up, and to honor Jack's dying wish, they set out on a journey to Margate – a seaside resort town where Jack had always wanted to go.

As the four best friends travel across the countryside, they reminisce about their youth, their past, and their memories of Jack. As they journey through winding country roads, the men reveal their innermost feelings, their jokes, their regrets, their tragedies, and the joys of their lives. It’s a poignant and bittersweet ride with a lot of history behind it. Midway through their journey, they pick up a young hitchhiker, Amy (Kelly Reilly).

As they approach Margate, each of them begins to unveil what they want for their futures, and their discussions often lead to recollections of their past. Ray, who has an estranged son, recalls an incident from his childhood that made him distance himself from his wife and his son. Vic, a former milkman, has a difficult relationship with his son, who is serving time in prison.

Lenny, who often doesn't talk much about his personal life, confesses his love for Jack's wife, Amy (Helen Mirren), and the emotions he once had for her – which transpired into guilt and regret over the years. As for Jack, his legacy slowly begins to unravel, his character and regrets are revealed, as well as the revelation of his mistress.

As the four men and Amy arrive in Margate, they visit a pier where Jack had visited as a child with his mother. They scatter his ashes over the ocean from the pier, remembering the good times they had shared with Jack.

The film conveys themes of love, friendship, and the mortality of men. The conversations between the characters are profound, and the performances are outstanding. The film is masterfully directed by Schepisi who skillfully frames the scenes by jumping back and forth from the present to the past – in Jack's life and his relationship with his friends.

The final moments of the film are particularly moving, as Ray and Vic reach a peace with each other in Jack's memory, while Lenny finally confronts the true motives behind his devotion to Jack Dodds. Finally, the film ends with a beautiful shot of the British coast as the four men and Amy walk away, the camera following them into the distance.

In conclusion, Last Orders is an emotionally stirring and heartwarming drama that captures the essence of male camaraderie and lifelong friendships, with a touch of humor and a bittersweet elegiac feeling. It's an outstanding cast, an exemplary writing great directing makes it well worth a watch.

Last Orders
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 49 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (6,672)
  • Metascore