Calling all Willem Dafoe fans! Calling all Willem Dafoe fans! Last call before the human populous bites the big one.
Director Abel Ferrara (King of New York & Bad Lieutenant) shows us a glimpse of how humanity would take it if we all knew the exact moment of human extinction. The apocryphal masterpiece will not be a blockbuster film like the productions of Bruckheimer or Bay, but will provide gritty shards of glass that stab at the human psyche urging us to question and introspectively contemplate how we would handle our own demise.
The people in the world of 4:44 are much like those of our world; some desperately cling to religion flocking to St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, some mentally breakdown, some seek unity and fraternity in the streets by candle light vigils, and some choose to spend their last moments with love ones.
Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh play a Bohem couple living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan attempting to go about life as usual. They try to smile more; they still eat takeout food, and make love. The complexity of the emotions inside their flat is not delivered by jarring blows, but rather by subtle nuances. Dafoe's character delves into an even deeper cavern of our subconscious behavior when he struggles with the choice of whether or not to stay sober. After all, one quits addiction to fulfill and prolong life. Shouldn't global eradication from above negate the 12-step program?
4:44 brings a surprisingly human aspect to a genre that normally is reserved for explosions and Bruce Willis one-liners. The spirit of the characters comes through the screen as completely genuine and real. This one is for the artsy, deep-thinking film goer.