The Last Days of Capitalism (2020)
"At this point, seeing a prostitute is more moral than burning coal."
This no doubt under-the-radar indie clearly has its head on its shoulders and is going to tell you a story even if too few people will be around to hear it.
The Last Days of Capitalism is a one-set two-hander. This can often go very awry unless held together pretty rigidly by the director. Being stuck in a room for days on end with only two characters to display requires confidence and trust, particularly on the part of the talent, especially to one another. If it doesn't work, any disquiet becomes very obvious quite quickly.
My dear, departed Mum would always know when to stop drinking because she would lose sensation in her lips. They literally went numb, and over the course of her formative years began to understand that her body was giving her a message. Pack it in, you're overdoing it.
Now there is a danger of that here, not surprising as you only have a small and finite set of options when you film two people in a room for three days. As Clarissa/Jennifer/Melissa/Rebecca says when asked "what can you do now?" Her answer is brutally honest "eat, sleep or fuck." The script pretty much writes itself from there, really.
There are some Pretty Woman comparisons, of course. A lonely wealthy man in a hotel room is short of company, so brings a call-girl to his room. Quickly becoming besotted with her (and why not, she is sweetly pretty, accommodating and has a brain in her head) he proposes that she stays for the weekend instead of merely the night they have already had. Initially reluctant, Clarissa has her head turned by the promise of a big payday, as the amount he is offering is not to be sniffed at.
This is where the similarities end, as there is a message lurking in the unspoken words between them and the moments of contemplation we are privy to that is alot more sobering than going back into a store to laugh at the sales assistants working on commission.
The acting on display is excellent and totally believable and the chemistry between the two players is never less than captivating. Every nuance is captured, whether in the delivery of the considered script or the silences in between the well thought out lines.
I know I have thoroughly enjoyed a film when I really didn't notice the time passing and at its conclusion, I'm left wishing there was at least another half an hour or more, but the film gets out when it's ready, whether we want for more or not.
Excellent. Will probably be missed by most, which is a crying shame.