Written and directed by K. Patrick Tutera, The Last Hurrah follows a Bonnie and Clyde style divorced couple who have robbed one last bank to set them up for retirement; when they return home to divide the score, while he thinks it’s a chance to reunite his family, she has other ideas. Starring Aleksandra Vujcic as Petra and Michael Bronte as Samuel.
Although everything of the film, its poster, summary and even its name scream out that it’s set in the 1940s, it still is a pleasant surprise to hear the opening overture and the perfectly chosen credit sequence that immediately takes you back to the likes of Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock or Michael Curtiz; nostalgia may be occasionally overrated these days but not in this case. As soon as the leads begin to interact it has the feel of a classic film, not only from the choice of simple and straight forward dialogue but from the interaction of male and female characters, although thankfully has progressed since the 40s, it is rather a predominant factor, which no film noir homage could really be complete without. That quality even extends to the way the actors speak, their body language and the way that emotion is very much held back for the most part, feelings were much less on the surface and messy than modern films portray.
The aspect that rounds out the classic film noir atmosphere is the set and costume designs, both of which it’s clear to see a lot of effort has been made to create an era appropriate environment for the film which is very effective. As things get more heated the chemistry between the two actors is not overly strong but given the setting it doesn’t have a negative effect, instead the score and direction fill the gap with tension and the feeling that there’s some impending explosion between the two of them, you just don’t know what it will be. Aleksandra Vujcic provides the femme fatale to Michael Bronte’s masculine, All-American con-man, Vujcic as Petra, a dangerous pairing who you can never decide if their relationship is based on love, hatred, competition, jealousy or resentment but it’s certainly interesting to watch unfold.
Overall the film is an impressive homage to an era of classic film, it immediately imparts a higher quality to the film which is backed up with the detail that’s gone into making it. Those lovers of classic film will particularly enjoy it but it is also a well put together and executed short film.