There comes a time occasionally in life when you’re given a sober reminder of your own mortality. When this happens to me, I quickly realise how naive I am to some of life’s realities. There are 7 billion people on this planet and about 2 billion have died in my lifetime. That’s about 150,000 die every day and yet I’ve never seen a dead body in real life. Ever. Cos that part of life is shielded away from your everyday existence. It’s too depressing, too negative. So you give it no thought. Yet mortality is a basic fact of our existence and one ignores it is as though we were in denial about it. We’re probably just ashamed of our naivity.
50/50 is a comedy drama that tackles the subject of our own mortality. The lead character is diagnosed with form of back cancer and his chances of survival are 50/50. The film deals with his relationships with family, girlfriend, best friend and even therapist and how this affects them too. Don’t be misled by it’s Comedy label either. The humour in this film endears us to the characters in the story rather than be used as a device to make cheap light of the subject. Indeed, I imagine it also helped make the film more digestible and accessible for those with no experience of cancer whilst showing respect and sensitivity for those whose lives have been touched by it.
Given the pitch, I imagine this was not the easiest of films to have made and yet it was such a pleasure to watch. It could have easily been over-senitmental Hollywood pap but it wasn’t. You’ll laugh and maybe cry. You’ll reflect and philosophise. You will be absorbed and refreshed after. And the final line…perfect.