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Force of Destiny 2015
Description: A adventure of love and hope, of courage and sacrifice, and one man's miraculous salvation through a life-saving liver transplant. FORCE OF DESTINY is a storyline of survival inspired by Paul Cox's private experiences and his newest ebook Tales From the Cancer Ward.
Released: 30 Jul 2015 Director: Paul Cox Writers: Paul Cox Actors: David Wenham, Jacqueline McKenzie, Kim Gyngell, Shahana Goswami Genres: Drama, Romance
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Force of Destiny Reviews:

I have been a Paul Cox fanatic since 1982's AFI Greatest Movie champion 'Lonely Hearts' with the late Norman Kaye and the beloved actress to whom this movie is partly dedicated: Wendy Hughes. That film made such a large impact on me both emotionally and creatively as I considered a potential career in the movie and tv industry. 'Force of Destiny' may not end up as one of Paul's nice films, but once again his unapologetic style and vision is on display here with David Wenham depicting a ver of Cox's adventure after a cancer diagnosis and liver transplant process few years ago. All of Paul's films have a moody, sometimes maudlin quality, and real enough to his approach and the sobering truths contained in the screenplay, 'Force' is a mature and considered elegy on life, death, children, love and spirit. The requisite home film flickers and vignettes that punctuate this at times weighty narrative give an ethereal and contemplative element to the structure. Wenham, as ever is solid, and imbues the hero with depth and wry humour. Jacqueline McKenzie is everytime a welcome addition to any movie (when is this magnificent actress going to receive other leading role?). Shahana Goswami has a lovely presence and Hannah Fredericksen provides much heart and grounding for this often distressing tale. It is not for everyone and it is disturbing at times. Facing grief, loss, trauma and mortality are hard topics to cover. Paul Cox does it his way. He everytime has; everytime will.


As a movie lover, I have seen surprisingly several movies I really don't like. I tend to select movies to watch that I think I will play and for the most part that keeps me away from terrible movies. Force of Destiny has actually joined the top of the list of films I hate. With a decent premise, it had some promising aspects on paper, but the final product is lacking charm, interesting characters, or any redeemable qualities. The storyline revolves around a sculptor who is diagnosed with liver cancer and given six months to live. He has a troubled relationship with his ex wife and finds comfort in spending time with his daughter. He falls in love with a much younger Indian girl shortly after being diagnosed and has to deal with the fact that he has finally found a satisfied zone while preparing to die. It is based on the life storyline of Paul Cox, who is also the writer/director, (spoiler, he doesn't die) and it was clear he thought he had a nice storyline everyone could hear. The trouble is, his storyline is not that interesting or special and he definitely was not the person to say it. The trouble with someone saying their own storyline is that they may not realize when they reference something the audience won't understand. For example the Indian girl keeps mentioning that she will have to leave soon, but it isn't explained where or why she is going until she ends up leaving. As the writer, Paul Cox didn't catch these moments because they already connected in his head. That is not the only trouble with the script however. The entire movie has a voice-over that does not add anything to the film. It is more of the main character's stream of consciousness and does not add any depth to him. It consists mainly of his observations and frustrations he had during the day. It does include a several moderately funny remarks about his frustrations, but that is it. It also goes away about halfway through the movie and doesn't reappear until the end. Even more confounding than that, there was one stage with a voice-over by a random person who is never explained and I couldn't start to guess whose voice it was. The script also calls for the characters to have over the top and puzzling reactions. In one stage the daughter gets slightly upset with her mother in the car, so she slams on the brakes and then gets out of the vehicle screaming. There was no build up to this moment; it was just a random explode of emotion. Dream sequences fill the movie and are entirely unnecessary and do not convey anything important. There gotta be over a dozen and they receive seriously repetitive as the movie drags on. They are not even well done and feel out of zone in the movie because they all look like old found footage with a sepia tone consisting of random imagery that doesn't apply to the film. These are utterly confounding and add nothing to the storyline another than more time. A number of these dream sequences are even incorporated into the narrative of the film. For example a door will launch up on its own with magical melody testing in the back ground, but then out of nowhere the characters just walk through it like nothing happened and the stage will continue. My favourite though has to be when the main hero looks into someone's telescope and the POV shot is an old grainy photo of a bird flying around, but then cuts right back to him looking into the telescope. That gotta be a weird telescope! There is also a stage where the characters walk into a room with weird sculptures and mosaics on the wall, but are only lit by one spotlight. It is as if someone is standing behind the cameraman shining a flashlight on the characters. At first I didn't even realize this was a dream sequence and it honestly may not have been, but after the movie someone said me he thought it was. Other puzzling aspect of the movie that didn't fit into the tone was how graphic it was. Up to a certain point, it felt like a family friendly film about coping with hardships, but then out of nowhere there is a terrifying dream sequence (though not now effective) of his liver transplant. It was cheesy, ridiculous, and didn't fit in the movie at all. Then when he now goes through with the liver transplant, it shows current footage from a surgery without holding back. On top of these scenes was one fast stage with nudity that was laughable at how awkward it felt. All in all there is virtually nothing I can suggest in this film. The script, the acting, the random dream sequences, the voice-over, and everything else are all atrocious. I could have taken a hint from the rest of the audience members and taken a great nap during the movie as it dragged on, but unfortunately I was too busy actively hating everything on screen.Force of Destiny (2016) Directed by: Paul Cox Screenplay by: Paul Cox Starring: David Wenham, Jacqueline McKenzie, Shahana Goswami Run Time: 1 hour 32 mins


A rather long winded/over long affair about the crucial importance of organ donating (amongst another things). We went to this film with high hopes of something special, alas both my partner and I were looking at our watches long before the end credits came up. The pacing was at a snails pace, the symbolism of life/death thrown at you each several minutes, if I had seen other photo of water/rain I was going to go out and purchase an umbrella, credit the audience with insight and intelligence please. At times the continuity seemed out of whack as well, was Robert in India with Maya or was this an Indian community in Australia, this made no sense and had no explanation. I realise this was very private film for Paul Cox but I think he dropped the ball with one.



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