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Four old friends drift towards their favourite watering hole The Coach and Horses, but this time they seem a little reluctant. Ray (Bob Hoskins), Vic (Tom Courtenay) and Lenny (David Hemmings) have gathered to fulfil the last order of their lifelong friend Jack (Michael Caine). The mood is quieter than usual as they raise a glass to Jack for the last time and brace themselves for their journey down to Margate, where theyll scatter his ashes off the pier of his favourite seaside town. As the jar containing Jacks ashes sits on the bar, they contemplate how its the same size as their pints of beer... Just then, a car horn sounds outside. Its Vince (Ray Winstone), or Big Boy as they all affectionately call him. Jacks son, a successful second hand car dealer, has agreed to be chauffeur for the day in a flash blue Mercedes. If theyre gonna give Jack a proper send off, it has to be in style. Jacks wife Amy (Helen Mirren) has decided not to join the pilgrimage to Margate, instead shes set out on a very significant journey of her own - a visit to their mentally handicapped daughter June (Laura Morelli). The road trip begins and the gang reminisce. In a series of flashbacks, the emotional mystery unfolds, as they try to come to terms with Jacks death by reliving their life with him. Stopping along the way to pay tribute to Jack in the way hed most appreciate it (in the pub!), tension eventually builds to boiling point between Lenny and Vince when its revealed that Big Boy made Sally, (Lennys daughter) pregnant and ran off to the army. Vinces anger is exacerbated by the painful recollection of Jack revealing he wasnt his real father and learning that Amy rescued him from a burning house when his own parents were killed during a bombing raid. Vince takes a detour, to Wicks Farm, and he and Lenny fight it out in the middle of the hop field where Jack and Amy first met before the war. As they arrive at Canterbury Cathedral, Rays mind is elsewhere Hes always secretly loved Amy, ever since Jack first showed him that black and white photo of her in his wallet during their army days in Egypt. For six weeks many years ago, Ray and Amy had an affair. Ray understood her and sympathised with her about June, where Jack failed to. He was her little ray of light... Maybe theres a second chance for them now? By the time the group reach Margate, the wind and rain are lashing down on them. Their journeys complete and as they congregate on Margate Pier, each with and handful of Jacks ashes, they send him on his final journey, certain in the knowledge, that he was a catalyst in all of their lives and just as friends can break your heart... its the same friends who can mend it.
Fantastic film. I thought it had great meaning and has a certain charm about it. Some people say differently . But I think watch it got yourself and you'll see :) thumbs up
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 2002
- © Scala (Last Orders) Limited and MBP 2001. All Rights Reserved.