The Last Day (2014) – By Philip Smolen

Frank Muncey (David Ross) is turning 70, and in America, this is now a real life changing event. So he travels out to meet his daughter Janie (Cindy Maples) in a spiffy rented sports car. They go out to their favorite restaurant and order a special dinner. But when Janie drives her father home that night, she’s overcome by emotion. America, you see, can no longer afford to take care of its senior citizens and anyone who reaches the age of 70 must be euthanized…

“The Last Day” is a touching and melancholy short from writer/director Joe Atkinson. It tells the painful story of a man whose country now thinks that he’s nothing more than a burden. Atkinson’s short touches on similar topics that were raised in several 1970’s sci-fi movies including “Soylent Green” (1973) and “Logan’s Run” (1976). But here, Atkinson takes the horror of euthanasia and reduces it down to a very distinct, measurable quantity.

This is a two-person drama and both David Ross and Cindy Maples shine. The emotions of this father-daughter duo come through clearly and unfiltered. “The Last Day” takes a look at the great personal and human cost of a hotly contested political topic. Joe’s Atkinson’s great short manages to put a human face on a cloudy nebulous topic.

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