May 102012


The Most Fun You Can Have Dying is the first feature-film from New Zealand writer/director Kirstin Marcon. As it is currently only screening in New Zealand, Wellington-based Kylie Sanders has kindly agreed to review it for us. Thanks Kylie!

Check out Kylie’s guest review after the jump!

It had been a while since I’d seen a New Zealand made film at the cinema, so I thought I’d give the Kirstin Marcon directed The Most Fun You Can Have Dying a chance.  Apart from the annoyingly long title, the plot sounded intriguing and unique.

We are tossed into the chaotic life of Michael (Matt Whelan, known for his role on Go Girls) who is a young, virile male given the news that he only has a few months to live.  Michael lives life hard – parties, drinking, drugs, sex – he doesn’t think about the consequences, only about having a good time.

Michael’s old community of Cambridge bands together to raise enough money for Michael to get special cancer treatment from America.  In a crazy series of events, Michael grabs the opportunity to steal the money and runs away overseas.  He leaves behind his Dad and best friend who are absolutely crushed at what Michael has done.

He flies through Asia and onto London and Europe.  Along the way he meets a girl who will change his life, or what is left of it, forever.  She is as damaged as he is, just with different scars.

the-most-fun-you-can-have-dying-image-2This is the type of movie where you read the synopsis and assume you know pretty much how it will pan out.  Well, that’s what I did.  And boy was I wrong.  I left the movie feeling unsettled and oddly numb.  I personally think it’s great when a movie can stir something in you, even if you’re not quite sure what exactly that is!  The Most Fun You Can Have Dying takes a magnifying glass right to the heart of someone who has no hope, no need for future plans, and a great lack of self-respect.  Despite all this, he does have close family and friends who love him dearly, which for some viewers will make his chosen path even more confusing.

It would be easy to sit back and take the moral high-ground in regards to Michael’s actions.  Yes he was terminal, but that didn’t make stealing charity money right.  Or did it?  It is a ‘what would you do?’ type of paradox where one cannot give answers unless in the exact same situation.

Both my partner and I felt there was something missing from the film, although unable to put a finger on exactly what.  It is certainly a movie to see, preferably when you are in a stable state of mind.  The acting is phenomenal, the soundtrack superb, and the camera-work just stunning.


By Kylie Sanders.

The Facts

Director: Kirstin Marcon
Writer(s): Kirstin Marcon (screenplay), Steven Gannaway (novel)
Starring: Matt Whelan, Roxane Mesquida, Pana Hema Taylor
Runtime: 97 minutes
Release date(s): New Zealand: April 26th 2012; Australia & USA: no date set

Kylie (who co-owns a design business) includes Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Brokedown Palace, Good Will Hunting and 500 Days of Summer among her favourite films. You can follow Kylie on Twitter.