'Two Weeks to Go': Film Review

Courtesy of Campaz films
A patience-tester of the highest order.
12/16/2016

A man who learns he'll die in two weeks keeps a video journal of the experience in Cameron Pazirandeh's nanobudget debut.

Writer-director-producer-star Cameron Pazirandeh asks a great deal of us in Two Weeks to Go, a selfie-style picture in which he pretends to have been told he'll die in exactly two weeks. We're meant to sit through what is essentially a rudimentary acting exercise whose philosophical musings would have to go a bit deeper to accurately be called tissue-thin. Theatrical prospects are nil — if the film has any value at all, it will be in demonstrating to Pazirandeh's acquaintances that they should help the poor guy find a therapist instead of sticking video-messages in a bottle and tossing them out to sea.

After sitting at his webcam and announcing to us that he has a terminal illness with a weirdly specific end date — "I don't have AIDS or anything," he hastens to add, it's just some "condition in my brain" — he declares that he needs to record his final days for some unseen audience. He has no friends, you see, and is hoping someone will eventually watch this and understand him posthumously.

Whether at his webcam or holding a phone in front of his face, the ensuing monologue appears to be entirely improvised, blanketed with "uh, um, y'know"s and meandering around "what's it all about" questions in the most superficial and tedious way. By the 17-minute mark, when he says "we're getting close," to the end, one is forced to reply, if only.

Somewhere in the middle of a 20-minute stretch in which he complains about the very annoying sound his computer's fan makes while failing to do anything about it, Pazirandeh comes the closest he will get to profundity: Yeah, these little daily hassles are nothing, he admits; but if they're nothing, and they're what your day is made of, how does life add up to anything? But he immediately gets bogged down in some other train of thought.

In a movie that asks us to imagine having just 14 days left on earth, and offers a protagonist failing miserably to find enlightenment or pleasure in that remaining time, even a viewer who suspects he has decades left will inevitably conclude: Life's too short for this.

Distributor: Campaz Films
Production company: Campaz Films
Cast: Cameron Pazirandeh
Director-producer-editor: Cameron Pazirandeh

Not rated, 56 minutes

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