Final Cut -movie review

Final Cut is a 2010 science fiction  film starring Robin Williams.  In the movie, technology has advanced to the point where people can have microchips implanted which record every moment of their life. When people die, a person known as a “Cutter” takes selected memories from the microchip and creates a film to be viewed by the deceased’s loved ones.

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Robin Williams plays Alan Hackman, who is renowned for being the best Cutter in the business. However, being a Cutter takes a tremendous psychological toll on a person. As the title implies, the person’s job is to “cut” all the bad, boring and embarrassing parts from the deceased’s memo chip.  What is left is a perfect idolized selection of memories for the loved ones to view.

Alan takes on the jobs that even other Cutters refuse. He edits the memories of some people that were truly evil in life.  He eliminates all record  embezzlement, infidelity, or even child abuse. The “memories” that are left are those of a perfect individual who never really existed.

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Not all society agrees with the new technology. A violent group of religious extremists is trying to end the program, saying that only God has the right to see through other people’s eyes. This group is lead by an ex-cutter named Fletcher (excellently played by Jim Caviezel).

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Mira Sorvino is Della, Alan’s girlfriend.  She understands that Alan has no real life of his own, but instead spends his time viewing life through the eyes of others. She tries desperately to get him to participate in life, instead of just  being a perpetual voyeur.

This film is very moving, and brings up a lot of moral questions about technology and what it is used for.  When we get to the point where 100% of everything we do is recorded, do we lose our humanity along with our privacy? Does anyone really have the right to view a stranger’s most private moments, even after that stranger has died?

The film is made even more poignant  by the fact that Robin Williams committed suicide last year.  He was  both a brilliant comedian and great dramatic actor.  You can’t help  wondering during the film that if  towards the end of his own life Robin Williams  worried about how he would be remembered.  He has been remembered quite well. Everyone he ever worked with has said that not only was he brilliant, but that he was a genuinely caring and honest human being. No memory chip needs to be edited to remember or miss him.

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We Rate this movie 4 stars ****

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