Cargo: Martin Freeman is wonderful in this bleak, affecting zombie thriller
Just when you thought there is not much remained to do in the zombie genre, a delightful surprise like Martin Freeman-starrer Cargo comes along and once again one gets hopeful that there are indeed more compelling stories to tell that involve the undead.
We absolutely love zombie movies and shows. There is something about the visuals of undead shambling creatures swarming cities, overrunning towns, and bands of intrepid survivors taking them on with rifles and katanas.
From zombie stories, writers are able to extract a respectable amount of drama, and they often explore themes like grief and the nature of evil. While the undead themselves are not very talkative, their very presence potentially creates interesting story beats.
These stories also allow us to live out survivalist fantasies from the comfort and safety of our homes. There are also comedies, some great, some not so much, deriving humour from strange state of affairs created by the arrival of undead.
But it must be admitted the genre has become saturated, and most of what we get nowadays is uninspired, if not utter dross. Creatives seem to forget that it is not the zombies that are special, it is ultimately the characters, the breathing ones, that is.
So just when you thought there is not much remained to do in the zombie genre, a delightful surprise like Cargo comes along and once again one gets hopeful that there are indeed more compelling stories to tell that involve the undead.
I described Cargo as delightful, but it is also depressing and heartbreaking, but has an ending that is positive tinged with poignance. The movie has zombies, but it is more an emotional character piece and a cautionary tale.
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The story is set after zombies have already taken over. The world has all but ended, most of the population wiped out and the rest turned into mindless cannibals. Death and despondency abound.
Martin Freeman and Susie Porter play the couple Andy and Rose, respectively, who have found shelter in a houseboat and are desperately searching for a sense of safety and permanence along a river in rural Australia with their infant daughter.