Go/Don’t Go (2020)

When it comes to post-apocalyptic cinema – even if we never see the event itself that caused such a societal overthrow – there’s often a sense of loud decay and savagery that is adhered to.  For Go/Don’t Go however, there’s a more personal approach taken.  Writer/director Alex Knapp frames this science fiction survivalist effort as a more subtle examination of one man’s psychological state, struggling with himself as he roams alone in a world that has seemingly left him behind.

Adam (also played by Knapp) is the literal last man standing in a suburban setting that seems to have remained rather fruitful.  Whatever event happened to take everyone around him must’ve been quick as convenience stores are still plenty stocked and the general surroundings are far from ravaged in any capacity.  Given this level of comfort for Adam there’s less a sense of surviving physically but more mentally.  In his best attempts to stay sane he goes about his days by emulating the routine he had become so accustomed to – going to work, going shopping, making phone calls (albeit to himself), etc. – which assists the film in creating a relatable quality, posing the question to the audience of what would you do in the same situation?

Whilst much of Go/Don’t Go follows Adam on his journey – meaning the film feels alarmingly intimate for a post-apocalyptic setting – Knapp allows us to learn more about him through the additive of flashbacks.  For much of its running time they are equally intriguing as they are frustrating (I have to stress this is a film that opts for absorption over action), but they demonstrate that Adam was always something of a sensitive character, finding social situations incredibly difficult, even when guided by his friends (Nore Davis makes for a nice presence as the encouraging Kyle).

The film’s heart though, and seemingly one of the main reasons for Adam to continue on his quest, is the relationship established between himself and K (Olivia Luccardi).  Though his shyness and her exuberance means they’re immediately at odds, personality wise, there’s a sweetness to their interactions that make it understandable as to why he holds onto their memory so intently.  But Go/Don’t Go seems to delight in never being as straightforward as audiences may expect, so as much as Knapp could’ve constructed a narrative solely around a man trying to find the woman he loves in a barren setting, the film teases something else entirely, resulting in a quiet, sensitive project that thrives more metaphorically than methodically.

Go/Don’t Go will be available on Demand and Digital through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu, Direct TV, Dish Network and all major cable providers in North America from January 12th, 2021 thanks to Kamikaze Dogfight and Gravitas Ventures.  An Australian release is yet to be determined.

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