Critics are enthusiastic about his film and it achieves this status from the very first few minutes. It opens with beautiful shots of the main character, revealing his character. Paul, a spoiled red-haired white boy befriends a black boy named Johnny at public school. Their relationship quickly becomes unbreakable as they find in each other what they feel they lack. For Johnny it is money and for Paul – it is freedom. Paul’s family doesn’t like the fact that he is friends with a black boy, the film is set in the 1980s – racism is a pressing issue. This is one of the reasons (besides his ungratefulness and behavior issues) why Paul is transferred to another school, a private one.
Paul is an artistic soul, he loves to draw and when he grows up he dreams of becoming a famous painter. The film portrays very beautifully what it feels like to be an artistic soul, how art just gets you. But it also shows white privilege, as Johnny could never even think of becoming an artist, since he is black. He wants to become an astronaut instead.
Another beautiful storyline in the film is Paul’s relationship with his grandfather, who is the only one in the family who gives him hope that he can become an artist someday. Then, a turning point happens – the grandfather dies. The boys decide to run away to Florida. And in order to have money for the trip and a fresh start, Paul offers to steal a computer from his new school. The theft is successful, but as expected, they soon get caught. In the end, only Johnny is left guilty. Again, race is at play here.
Like many arthouse films, this one doesn’t have a definite ending. I liked this movie because it shines a light on the fight against racism and how one person can make a difference. I also really liked the fact that the idea of the American Dream was mocked, and it was done in a very tasteful way.
Armageddon Time touches on a number of social issues – racism, loneliness, homelessness. The film is gripping, with beautiful imagery and excellent actors, including Anne Hathaway and Anthony Hopkins. Of course, the famous actors are not the reason this film is so good, it is a wonderful addition to the goodness. The colors in each frame are well thought out, vivid and create the right mood. The soundtrack is excellent as well, as it never once interfered with the picture, but only added to it.
This film is as interesting as it is inspiring and educational. Since there are many revolving lines in this film, I simply recommend to go see it.
Written by Salomėja Siparytė