Set in the near future, “Swan Song” is a powerful, emotional journey told through the eyes of Cameron (Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father who is expecting his second child with his wife Poppy (Naomie Harris). When Cameron is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor (Glenn Close) to shield his family from grief. As Cameron grapples with whether or not to alter his family’s fate, he learns more about life and love than he ever imagined. Written and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Benjamin Cleary, “Swan Song” explores how far we will go, and how much we’re willing to sacrifice, to make a happier life for the people we love.
Excellent performances from all of the cast. Harris has recently been seen in Venom, Let there be carnage and play Moneypenny in the Bond series. Multi talented, she has been in film and television for over twenty years. Although we do not really see enough of her in this, believing in the grief her character has suffered in the past is paramount to the film’s success.
Ali undoubtedly steals the movie, making you believe that there really are two people on screen. Each seem quite different, though fundamentality the same. It is a testament to his acting that you find yourself on one characters side or the others. Hopefully he will get a nod from Oscar this year.
Glenn Close gives a quietly reserved performance and stops the drama from drifting into the grey territory of a thriller. This movie is a very powerful drama, slow moving, thoughtful and engaging.
To be fair, it may not be the sort of film you turn to on Christmas Day but certainly if looking for a thought-provoking film with a wonderful glimpse into future technology, this is the one for you.
The synopsis may seem a little depressing, but the film does not have that feel to it. Although it could benefit from more humour in the screenplay, it never feels sorry for itself and presents its characters with confidence and ultimately tells a good story.
It is available on Apple TV from 17th December.