Peter Hutchings‘ Then Came You – Departures is a story with the goal to remind us it’s not how long but how we live the life we have, that matters. The movie tells the story of 19 year-old hypochondriac Calvin ( Asa Butterfield, Journey’s End, Hugo Cabret) in need of a wake-up; he is a college drop-out boy who keeps a journal of his possible symptoms and works as luggage handler at the Albany Airport but has never been on a plane. At a cancer patient support group meeting (he attends on his GP advice with the purpose to give him a real prospective about dying illness), he befriends with 4th-stage cancer ill girl Skye (Maisie Williams; Game of Thrones, Mary Shelley). As Calvin is wasting his chance at life, Skye enlists him to help her to fulfill her To Die List (because to call it bucket list is not cute enough) while she plays Cupido helping him to get the girl long way out of his league: flight attendant Izzy (Nina Dobrev; The Vampire Diaries, The Perks of Being a Wallflower).
The strength of this movie is in the unexpected non-romance twist between Calvin and Skye thanks to writer Fergal Rock and the amazing performance by leading actors Butterfield, Williams and Dobrev (her wordless scene at the end conveys a deep range of thoughts and emotions and it’s one of the most touching of the movie); but also by Calvin‘s brother Frank played by Tyler Hoechlin (Supergirl, Undrafted) and sympathetic cop Al played by Ken Jeong (The Hangover Saga) who shows us as a gifted actor is able to create a lively and bright character just in few-brief takes.
Peter Hutchings (who is now working on Hush, Hush script) makes a sappy story lighter, deflating all the big emotions with few sophisticated tricks: Skye dresses as death for the costume party, she brings a goldfish to Calvin in a IV bag, she is in charge of the first part of the bucket crazy list and all they attempts end up not exactly as expected. But, when Calvin comes in charge of the second part, all gets emotional. Her 10th point on the list is: help a sad case and when she’s about to lose her life, it’s just when Calvin starts to embrace his.
A very good movie brought to a higher level by the talent working in front and behind the camera.
“Because you terrify me, you excite me and when you’re not around, I miss you.” (Calvin)