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Last Words (2010)

 -  Short | Action | Drama
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 9 users  
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After returning home from war, a former soldier plans his final day on earth. 'Last Words' explores the moments leading up to the suicide of Jason Grey(Lancaster). This frightening tale is ... See full summary »

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Title: Last Words (2010)

Last Words (2010) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
Justin Lancaster ...
Jason Grey
John Woods ...
Westler
Tyshawn Jenkins ...
Reed
Russ Huth ...
Sarge
...
...
Iraq Prisoner
Amanda Holroyd ...
Girlfriend
...
Waitress
David Gentile ...
Soldier
Steven Gentile ...
Soldier
Tom Yu ...
Friend
Teju Sonikar ...
Boy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stefan King ...
Best Friend
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Storyline

After returning home from war, a former soldier plans his final day on earth. 'Last Words' explores the moments leading up to the suicide of Jason Grey(Lancaster). This frightening tale is inspired by a true story of an American soldier who took his life with such military precision. Once the 'Last Words' are written, you can't unwrite them. Written by Anonymous

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Short | Action | Drama | War

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Trivia

The scene where the Iraq prisoner is being tortured was filmed in Doylestown, Pennsylvania on a cold snowy day. This is why you can see Dutch, Westler, and the Iraq prisoner's breath when they speak. See more »

Quotes

Dutch: [after hitting Iraq prisoner several times with the butt of his gun] How's that for water? I should kill you right now Arab! But instead I'm gonna tie you to the back of my Bradley and drag you through the streets like the dog you are! You hear me dog!
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Featured in Tristan's Story (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Effective and Highly Psychological Short Film
28 March 2011 | by (someplace) – See all my reviews

Last Words is a short war film that examines the mental state of distressed and deeply haunted soldier Jason Gray (Justin Lancaster, who also directed). Despite studying the negative effects that war has on it's soldiers, the film never becomes political or points fingers at politicians, instead opting to focus on the life and mental breakdown of one soldier in his last days. This was a breath of fresh air to me as I'm sick of highly politicized war movies and am more interested in the stories about those who actually fight wars.

Similar to Platoon, much of the film is shown through the main character's first person voice over. The main difference is that Platoon's voice over was read as though reading a soldier's letters to his family, where as the voice over in Last Words is told in the mood of a suicide note.

Last Words begins in Jason's apartment and reveals that he has isolated himself from his loved ones, is deeply paranoid, haunted by memories from war and suffering from suicidal thoughts. The first half of the film is told through flashbacks which focus on Jason and fellow soldier Westler (John Woods, who also directed) during their time in Iraq. After showing his most startling memories and current paranoia, the climax of the film focuses on how Jason comes to terms with his decision and spends his last day.

Filmed on a low budget, the film's biggest flaw is the inaccuracy of the soldier's uniforms, which are outdated and are not used in desert combat. The war scenes were also filmed in Pennsylvania and as a result some of the outdoor locations show green grass and trees that are clearly not in Iraq. With that said, the most effective Iraq flashback scenes are definitely the night time battle scene and torture of an Iraqi prisoner which follows. Because the film's biggest battle takes place at night, the location used is more obscured and feels authentic as a decaying Iraqi village. This location is used again during the day for the torture scene, and because of the stone architecture and blown out windows, it proves to be a great and convincing location during the daytime as well.

The torture scene is the film's most intense and well acted scene, boasting strong performances by Justin Lancaster, John Woods, Tyshawn Jenkins, Damien Colletti, Russ Huth and Munir Kreidie. While I did criticize the film for it's lack of authenticity in the soldier's uniforms and non desert outdoor locations, I do praise the filmmakers for casting Munir Kreidie as the prisoner as he is very convincing and authentic in his role. This scene and the previous battle are the film's strongest scenes due to the filming location, strong acting, and high energy shown on screen. Also noteworthy about the battle and torture scene is that the supporting characters are interesting and engaging, even in their brief time on screen.

The film is inspired by the true story of Tristan Lancaster who committed suicide after returning home from Iraq. Because Tristan was the brother of director Justin Lancaster, this film is very personal to the filmmakers behind it, which definitely shows through. The personal nature and strong effort put into the film compensates for its flaws. Also effective is the use of real life Iraq footage and still images in the film, as it provides often intense documentary footage and brings more realism to the film.


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