[This story contains major spoilers from Don’t Make Me Go.]
In Don’t make me goYoung protagonist and narrator Wally – played by rising star Mia Isaac – only begins to grapple with the idea that her father might not be around forever when the unthinkable happens.
The bittersweet trip film sees John Cho’s Max take his daughter cross-country to a class reunion, under the guise of meeting friends. But unbeknownst to Wally, they really hope that her dad will meet his ex and Wally’s mother, who dumped them both. Max has been diagnosed with a terminal illness that requires surgery, the survival rate itself questionable, and he hopes her mother can be the one to look after their child when he’s gone.
Max has kept his condition – and plan to refuse treatment and use his final year to prepare her for a life without him – a secret from his daughter. But when he reveals it to Wally after a heartbreaking conversation with her mother, the young teen’s initial reaction turns into one of heated confrontation and one of (adolescent) molding before The two are closer than ever.
But in their most obvious moment, as Wally watches her father sing under the warm lights of a karaoke bar, their relationship takes a turn that neither of them expected, ending in the death of their father. Wally. The screenplay by Vera Herbert and both Cho and Isaac’s acting encapsulates the honesty, dependency, and love that is different between single parents and their children, which helps set the series’ hearts for a turn. movie – like her father, Wally also suffers from an illness (unknown and untreated). unexpected life – it’s hard to watch.
As Isaac learned of her character’s death before she secured a role in the film, director Hannah Marks inadvertently assumed that the young actress had read the entire script during a Zoom audition. However, Isaac says, she doesn’t know exactly where the boy in the story died. “I had an idea of what the ending would be like,” the actress said. “But when I was reading that karaoke scene – I didn’t expect it to happen in that and so for me, I was immediately confused. “
Cho said the first time he read that scene, it felt like being punched. “I don’t know when I read the script, and then I have a Keyser Söze Moment where I watch, flip, try to piece it all together,” he said.
Marks admits that the moment is a “slow realization” with hints and “small seeds planted” throughout the film. That includes how the team communicated Wally’s symptoms visually. “Many of her illnesses manifest in a way that feels like normal teenage anxiety or panic attacks, but they are actually symptoms of something physically wrong with her,” says Marks. there,” Marks said.
The director said she and cinematographer Jaron Presant had a custom filter that he “would create with some glue on a piece of glass,” and they would use it whenever Wally or Max headache or dizziness. “Those little visual metrics peaked at the end of the karaoke session when there were lots of pictures of their faces overlayed and the filters turned into reality,” she added.
Wally’s death is a fragile scene that doubles as a moment of revelation and loss – which eventually gives way to hope for Max. In a film that is already overflowing with emotion, it helps underline the importance of the film’s larger message and the literal and metaphorical mile-long journey that father and son have taken together.
“Max spends the whole movie trying to protect Wally and trying to do whatever he can to make sure she’s okay when he dies. So he had the idea in his head that he would be able to protect her from life,” said Isaac. “I think the big message of the story is that you can’t always protect your child from everything. Sometimes the only thing you can do is just live with them and try to guide them through what they are going through and learn from them. “
Marks called it “a truly beautiful final moment between them”.
“That’s when Max finally listened to Wally and learned from her. She said to go there and take risks, be confident and express yourself,” said the director CHEAP. “This is the moment when he finally makes it and she gets to see him as this full person who has a past and history and not just her father. They really get to see each other like that and learn from each other.”
It’s a powerful scene punctuated by much of what makes the rest of the film so appealing: its vulnerability and humour. In the minutes before Wally’s death, she watched her father have his throat cut on a karaoke stage. Marks playfully says that she takes karaoke seriously, denying Cho’s stance that it doesn’t have to be good because it’s karaoke. “I’m surprised when you think it might not be good because you’re gifted,” she said.
Isaac said she was impressed with Cho’s voice and “watched it every time”. For the actor, a self-described “fun karaoke guy” and tough, it’s probably more painful for those who have to watch him move from track to scene. “We pre-recorded the song, but that day there was no music for the audience and there was no alcohol in the audience,” Cho said, laughing. “And I had to do it a lot, so it wasn’t as fun as regular karaoke but I didn’t mind singing.”
The humor and fun at that serious reveal not only caught the viewer off guard before ending the film’s flow. In the end, that’s the key to understanding how Wally and Max’s love changed them both. It was a small but important, symbolic moment of his willingness to submit to his daughter and her wishes, throwing away his ego and pride. “It was a risky moment given to him by his daughter’s willingness to suffer, and it was the last lesson he had to take.”
Marks added: “I really think the last thing Wally saw was her father smiling at her.” “That for me is really important. That their last moments together became one of joy. “
Don’t make me go streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video.