PARTS PER BILLION is superbly acted, ably directed; it has some well-written scenes and nice cinematography.
It is also one of the most depressing movies I have ever seen.
Caution: Depending on your point-of-view, there could be Spoilers ahead.
Like with Stanley Kramer’s ON THE BEACH (1959), writer/director Brian Horiuchi’s film deals with the end of the human race, brought on by man’s own hand. In the case of the Kramer picture, the cause was nuclear fallout, but in this 2014 release, the culprit is biological warfare. The conflict may have begun in the Mideast, but trade winds are spreading the contaminant throughout the globe.
The screenplay centers on three couples and how each duo deals with the approaching doom. All three couple’s lives are interlaced in one-way or another. Frank Langella, married to Gena Rowlands, is a wealthy scientist who, years ago, worked on the project that, ultimately, led to the world’s current plight. His attorney in a legal matter regarding the project is Rosario Dawson, and her husband is an out-of-work writer (Josh Hartnett). The third couple is Penn Badgley, a struggling musician, and his insecure fiancée, Teresa Palmer. Badgley is Langella and Rowland’s grandson.
Aside from their various relationships, the couples have something else in common: Love. Will love survive the impending disaster?
Well made as it is, this is not a movie that I would like to see a second time.
Millennium Entertainment releases PARTS PER BILLION onto Blu-Ray.
© Michael B. Druxman