This film would have been relegated to a televisual and not have made it to the marquee, had it not had late Sir John Hurt essay his final leading part. Sir Hurt had also subsequently taken a supporting part in the yet not released spy thriller Damascus Cover. The films visual pleasure is emanated mostly from watching a sunhatted Hurt pottering around the Algarve as Ralph, a tetchy old man planning to use his remaining days in the wake of a bleak health diagnosis and is mostly organising the means and method of his departure from this world and one last attempt to reconcile with his estranged son.
"That Good Night," is adapted from a play originally written by NJ Crisp. The film has one other advantage in location used for shooting. Every poolside conversation is bound to do wonders for the sales of holiday homes. A major part of the human interaction remains elusive and limited. Its almost as if the protagonist has been developed by the writer at the expense of others. Sofia Helin brings a thoughtful dignity to her role as Ralph’s wife. Eric Styles does a commendable job of getting the best out of Hurt who shines in the role of Ralph. Charles Savage's screenplay is well balanced but at times gets way too focussed just on Ralph; creating the impression that the film revolves just around one person. The others actors do justice to their respective parts, but their roles seems not to be well etched out in the screenplay.
At the end it all becomes a one man show with Sir Hurt as the the film's focal part. As the actor so often did, Hurt gives even the stiffest material a touch of nuance and class, his adorable growl nudging even Crisp’s more common lines towards profundity. It certainly is to seen a huge public service that Styles got the actor to read Dylan Thomas before the closing credits. Though not sorrowful, but it is saddening indeed, that the audience is mainly waiting for Ralph to die, wishing they could be spared from listening to another note of Guy Farley’s excessively sentimental music score. The end result is a quarter full of silver screen showings, that inspire not so much angst against the dying projector light but the regretful annoyance at the project’s missed opportunities.
The film will be screened on May 21, 2018 at May 21,2018 at Everyman Leeds, Level 4 Trinity, Albion Street, Leeds LS1 5AY
For details, visit https://www.everymancinema.com
Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek at the film.