Directed by Justin D. Hodge | Reviewed by Samiksha Periwal
‘Last Known’ is a very interesting psychological action thriller short film that briefly discusses an incident about a failed search operation led by a legendary search ad rescue commander who refuses to give up on his last mission before retirement. This narrative makes you experience aspects of thrill, suspense, action, anxiety and gets you intrigued to figure out the probable reasons for the failure of the mission. An emotional aspect of losing a family also sets well with the storyline. The complexities of unravelling the suspense of the film would only get better and more exciting if you sit and watch this wonderful piece of cinema and experience your aroused emotions especially after you’ve reached the climax of the same.
The film can very literary and simply be broken down into three aspects which are; the psyche of an officer, the action that is accompanied in every mission and the experience of thrill while you are trying to solve such a complex situation. In the movie, we see how the protagonist seems like a pathologically disturbed character who has lost his own family members as a result of an unfortunate incident. This man takes full charge of looking for his wife and son to an extent that he goes out all alone in the middle of the night, in heavily snowy areas, refusing to limit his search to a formal investigation. The deterioration of his mental health can be understood in the latter half of the film through his conversations with his therapist. However, there seems to be a very big and important twist in the story which only starts showing up in the climax of the film. To find out about this twist and to know whether this man succeeds in his mission or not you should give it a watch.
This film has completely been shot in sync sound and on actual locations. These factors technically speaking, enhance the authenticity of the story and make it seem all the more real for the audience. The camera work is also exceptionally good, especially while shooting high altitude scenes and capturing the rescue sequence in the snowy woods. A mood board of contrasting the protagonist’s costumes with the white colour of nature also works well with the story and vibrantly creates an aesthetic for the viewers. In a nut shell, the film has fairly done well in terms of its technical aspects. A special mention for the cast of the film who have given a praiseworthy performance in the film. Their work is very crucial in terms of making the story seem real and for creating an impact the audience that needs to empathize with the character on screen to appreciate a particular work and they have done their part just fine.
The director, Justin D. Hodge is a film enthusiast who has been in the industry for over thirteen years now, experimenting with producing, directing, writing, editing and filming several pieces. He considers film to be his ‘dream’ and also mentions that he would never grow too old or broken to discontinue his passion of filmmaking. Through this film, one can easily make out how experienced and well read the director is about the technicalities of filmmaking. He has definitely been successful in deliberating his job of creating a psychological action thriller which engages the audience right till the end of it.
As a whole, ‘Last Known’ is a cliff-hanger film which teleports you to an almost unachievable rescue mission and demands your brain to think out of the box to crack the actual suspense. It might seem a little distraught, almost falling all over the place in the beginning where the audience might not necessarily get a clear picture of what the story is trying to convey but the second half of the film gets really interesting as we unfold the different layers to the storyline one by one and try to make sense out of the actions of the protagonist. Therefore, to experience the thrill, this one should definitely be an add-on to your current watchlist!
Samiksha Periwal is an 20 year old student from Kolkata, West Bengal. She is an enthusiast, eager to learn and explore. She has done her schooling from Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Kolkata and is currently a student of Christ University, Bangalore pursuing a triple major in BA Psychology, Sociology and English. She is a passionate writer and has won many laurels for her school through the years.