An Emotional, Poignant Documentary
End Game is a raw, emotional documentary that follows several medical practitioners as they set out to change our attitude around the taboo subject of death whilst making life as comfortable as possible for terminally ill patients at their hospices. The overall theme is one of treasuring life and making every moment on this planet count. At 40 minutes, the documentary does feel unusually abrupt; in hindsight its almost feels too short. It would have been nice to spend some time exploring the backstory to each of the five people this documentary showcases but it’s a minor point in an otherwise strong documentary.
End Game may suffer a little with its short run time but what this lacks in longevity, it more than makes up for with raw emotion and a strong message at its core. It could have been so easy for this documentary to discuss the after life and various theories around what’s to come after this plane of existence but much to End Game’s credit, it stays fixated on the subject at hand and doesn’t deviate from this at all.
As is to be expected from Netflix, the editing and cinematography in this documentary is very good with handheld cameras getting up close and personal with the patients and their immediate family helping to elevate the empathy toward each person shown. There’s a good use of music here too and the face to face interviews are equally as shocking and emotional as the scenes inside the hospices. One interview with an amputee doctor tells the story of how his left arm and both legs were blown off in a gut wrenching, harrowing tale. There are other moments like this that are sure to spark some serious emotional resonance with anyone who’s experienced a loved one in care and facing death. Seeing a distraught child hugging his Mum for the last time brought some tears to this reviewer’s eyes and it’s moments like this that really hammer home the idea of treasuring every moment on this beautiful planet we all share.
Perhaps this is why the documentary works so well. The thematic message around embracing life and treasuring every moment is a powerful one and refreshingly positive given the subject matter. Although it would have been nice to see more around each patient’s past and story to enhance the emotional resonance with their stories, it doesn’t detract too much from the appeal of this short documentary. This one is well worth checking out too and certainly packs an emotional punch that’s both surprising and poignant.