Last month we reported on the sad passing of the ‘Twilight’ star, Robert Pattinson. He spent the last several years of his life working on a passion project that he hoped to see released this year, but his untimely death last March meant that it didn’t happen. Now, over a month after Pattinson’s passing, the film has finally been released and it’s a very different film to anything that we’ve previously seen from the ‘Twilight’ actor. Instead of focusing on his on-screen character, we’re presented with an intimate look at the actor himself as he deals with his grief and searches for meaning in his life.
The trailer for Robert Pattinson’s Last Movie, which was released last month, gives us a peek into the type of film that we’re dealing with here. It opens with the phrase ‘This is not a movie,’ and it sets the tone for what’s to come. The film was, in fact, almost entirely improvised with no outline or specific story. It was, as Pattinson described it, ‘just a mess.’
The trailer continues with a scene in which Pattinson’s character, Simon, sits alone in a dark room, contemplating suicide. He plays a song on his guitar as he rocks back and forth, lost in thought. It’s a heart-breaking scene, made even more so by the fact that it’s a solo performance and we aren’t privy to Simon’s interior world. We then cut to black as the song ends and the camera focuses on a close-up of a handwritten letter that sits on a table in front of him. He’s lost, he’s lonely, and he’s depressed.
This is not the usual happy ending that we’re used to seeing from the ‘Twilight’ actor. Instead, it’s a film with a much darker tone that accurately represents the actor himself at this time in his life. The fact that it was shot and completed so recently means that it still retains a raw emotional quality that makes it rather unique. It’s raw, it’s real, and it shows us a side of Robert Pattinson that we didn’t really see before.
What Is It About?
The story behind Robert Pattinson’s Last Movie is actually rather interesting. In 2016, after his split from his wife, Vanessa, Robert Pattinson took up residence in a Benedictine Monastery in southern France. There, he worked on his passion project, which he had been talking about for many years, and which he hoped to complete before his untimely death last year. He titled the film Bel Ami (roughly translated as ‘Friend’) and it’s a story that follows Simon, a recently-turned-Benedictine brother, as he deals with the challenges of living in a monastery.
The monastery is home to generations of monks and the atmosphere, both inside and outside the walls, is one of peaceful contemplation. It was a place that Robert Pattinson called ‘quaint’ and ‘beautiful.’ In one of the film’s most harrowing scenes, Simon, played by Pattinson, watches helplessly as his young nephew is bullied by local schoolchildren. It’s an upsetting scene that highlights the isolation that youngsters face and the dangers of social media. There is no Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram in the monastery, so it’s easy for young people to be cut off from the outside world. This is made quite clear in scenes in which Simon is forced to log onto the internet, only to be bombarded with unwelcome images and comments. The experience is so traumatic that he attempts suicide.
Simon, like Pattinson, finds peace and solace in his work. He is a talented artist and a lot of his time is spent in the monastery’s chapel, painting scenes from the bible. He also creates furniture and decorations to brighten up the place and he fancies himself ‘a bit of an architect’ (as he puts it himself). It’s a form of therapy that the actor clearly values and it occupies a large portion of his time in the monastery, which in turn occupies the majority of Robert Pattinson’s Last Movie. It’s a beautiful, if rather tragic, story about a man finding peace in his work and in the process, redefining what it means to be alive.
Why Is It Unique?
The fact that Robert Pattinson’s Last Movie was shot so recently makes it unique in more ways than one. We’ve never seen the actor at such a loose end with no projects in sight, and it shows in the movie. He clearly doesn’t have much to do, so he lets his hair down and has some fun. We get to see lots of scenes of the actor playing guitar, drinking whisky, and generally just letting loose. It’s a bit of a break from the intense, contemplative scenes that we’re so used to seeing from the actor.
It’s quite an intimate movie too. The fact that we don’t see much of Pattinson’s world means that we’re constantly wondering what’s going on in his head. We don’t know what his next move is, or if he even has one, and it makes him even more of a compelling character. The fact that this movie was completed and released so soon after the actor’s death provides an additional layer of poignancy. It’s as if he knew that he would not live to see the end credits, so he decided to give us one last look at what was, for him, a very personal project.
How Does It Measure Up?
It’s hard to put into words just how good Robert Pattinson’s Last Movie is. It’s intimate and it’s personal, and it deals with heavy themes, but it’s also one of the best British independent films in years. It’s not often that we get to see a film that is so good that you won’t even remember the name of the director or the stars. It’s that good.
The direction, courtesy of Sebastien Beton, is assured and he handles the material with a sure hand. He doesn’t go over the top and he creates an immediate atmosphere of dread and unease, rather than cheap scares. It’s a credit to him that he was able to achieve such a memorable effect without having to resort to excessive gore or jump scares.
What Is The Future Of Pattinson’s Work?
It’s extremely unlikely that we’ll ever see a film directed by Robert Pattinson again. We may see the occasional Instagram or Twitter post, but the actor himself has said that he has no interest in returning to the limelight. It would appear that Robert Pattinson’s Last Movie is the end of an era for the 41-year-old actor.