Departures: Film Review

I was a big fan of The Fault in Our Stars which meant Departures – also known as Then Came You – had an uphill battle to win me over. The plots are very similar so you can’t help but draw comparisons between them and Departures fails to match up.

Asa Butterfield stars as Calvin, a hypochondriac airport worker, who attends a cancer support group meeting as he’s convinced he has the disease. There he meets and befriends cancer sufferer Skye (Maisie Williams) who helps him face his fears and learn how to have fun and enjoy life while he helps her complete her ‘to die’ list.

There are, admittedly, some differences between Departures and The Fault In Our Stars – only one has cancer rather than both and this follows a friendship rather than a romance – but it is still about a cancer sufferer trying to complete a bucket list. I just felt like I had seen most of the beats before which meant that they didn’t spark as much joy or sadness as they maybe would have done otherwise.

Also, I don’t think Butterfield and Williams are amazing actors in comparison to Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. They are fine but they didn’t convince or really give me the depth I needed to truly care for them. This is mostly down to the script, which felt unoriginal, unlikely (in some moments) and cliched. Plus, I found Williams’ character really annoying and I couldn’t really understand why they would ever be friends. So, again, it’s hard to get behind the characters.

However, I reckon fans of Game of Thrones and Sex Education will eat up a movie that stars their favourites from these shows. There are also plenty more famous TV faces such as Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries) playing Calvin’s love interest Izzy (as if), Teen Wolf’s Tyler Hoechlin as his brother Frank and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Tituss Burgess as Julian, Izzy’s co-worker.

These fans probably won’t come away disappointed because the film is pleasant enough, it zips by, has some sweet moments and they can see their favourites do fun things – but it just reminded me of other movies that did it better.

Available on iTunes, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, BT TV and Sky Store from Monday 4th March

(Rating: 3/5)

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