Inspired by the true story of Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of the popular Seattle-based rock band Nirvana who committed suicide in 1994, director Gus Van Sant (ELEPHANT) presents this meditative journey through the last days in the life of fictional musician Blake (Michael Pitt). In a bewildered state of drug withdrawal, Blake stumbles through deep woods groaning and mumbling quietly. His words are only occasionally audible, and even less occasionally coherent. Thus, the focus is on Blake\'s tortured, slow-motion movements and his tangle of chin-length blond hair, which hangs like a mask over his face. Reaching a clearing, Blake enters a dilapidated mansion where he lives with four similarly confused young rockers.

3.5
Van Sant\'s unconventional approach to this tragic story is both frustrating and compelling.

Last Days is a minimal exploration of the internal torment that consumes a gifted musician. Set in a secluded mansion, inhabited by muso\'s and hangers on, Michael Pitt is Blake, a famous artist who has retreated from the world. He shuffles around his property, mumbles to himself, occasionally encounters other people and often, ominously carries a gun. Clearly, he\'s lost the ability to relate to others.

Gus Van Sant continues to shun traditional narrative, in an unconventional depiction of the demise of a celebrity. It\'s languidly paced, the cinematography is almost motionless and Michael Pitt is both intriguing and irritating as the tortured artist. Kurt Cobain\'s death resulted in an almost religious fervour, yet what we\'re shown here, is so unremarkable, it\'s depressing. It\'s fiction, but who wants to believe this is how a great musician bowed out? Last Days is not going to appeal to everyone, but I appreciate its realism, as it explores how drugs and sadness can engulf people like Blake, or Kurt Cobain.