Someone writing, directing and starring in a movie always makes me a touch nervous. However, Richard Summers-Calvert (“Indie Film”, “Intune (Short)”) has form in this area and I needn’t have been that worried.
Drive Me To The End sees Calvert as Ryan, a young-man who lives at home with his terminally ill mother Louisa, Tracey Wilkinson (“Billy Eliot”, “Carnival Row (TV)”). When his biological father, who he hasn’t seen since he was a child, passes away in Scotland, Ryan decides on a road trip.
As he’s leaving his mum reminds him to pick up Sunny, Kate Lister (“The Heights (TV)”, “Indie Film”). Which is a bit of a bombshell, but she did ‘leave him a post-it’. Sunny is Ryans’ ex-ex cousin, removed. And is autistic, and Australian.
Reluctantly, Ryan does pick her up, eventually, and these two polar opposites begin to bond as they travel up to Scotland.
Sunny, who has recently recovered from an attempted suicide, feels trapped by her parents who don’t let her, or believe, she can do anything herself.
Ryan meanwhile feels trapped by his mum and her illness, which may sound a strange thing to say but you’ll see what we mean in his moving speech towards the end.
I can’t comment on Lister’s portrayal of someone with autism, nor can I comment on Calvert’s writing of the same, as I don’t have the experience to do so.
However, I can comment on the performances of our two leads, which are great. There’s a lot of humour throughout the film as Ryan’s ignorance of Sunny’s autism leads to some interesting situations.
Calvert, for the most part, keeps his writing grounded and realistic, though a couple of surrounding characters, including a hitchhiker picked up along the way, take us away from the realism, and don’t pay that much attention to the journey itself.
Calvert does well with an obviously limited budget which means “Drive Me To The End” is a heart-warming movie with plenty of laughs to enjoy.