Pensioner Tom is about to embark on an incredible trip from Britain’s most northerly point John O’Groats to his original home town at the most southernly point Land’s End, all after his wife Mary has just passed away. Using buses with his free bus pass and having to stick to a very well worked out route, not wanting anyone to touch his small suitcase.
The Last Bus is an utterly heartbreaking and heart-warming story, at times it manages to do both of things at the same time. Starting in Scotland and working his way across England is a 800 mile trip, which would be tough enough for anyone but even more so for an elderly man taking public buses! But he had reasons for doing it that way and that’s something we learn more about throughout the film, shown different events from his life in flashback form.
A lot of the moments in the film that could be seen as surprises were quite easy and obvious to guess, although one of the things I was really hoping wasn’t true but unfortunately it was. We see that he had a lovely life with Mary and that they did truly love each other. His quest was to not let her down as he promised and that certainly made it break your heart at times.
I found myself getting utterly annoyed and irritated at some fo the horrible people that he came across during the journey. It certainly highlighted some of the issues we have here in the UK, the antisocial behaviour and sheer horrible nature. The racist man on one of the buses was a particular low, along with the pathetic excuse for a man in the hotel. I thought a similar horrible moment was going to come with the hen party and football fans, but at least that one changed things!
It was hinted at a couple of times that people were posting about Tom and his bus journey’s on social media, but nothing major was made of this. Until of course he got to the end of his quest and loads of people were waiting for him at the end, watching to see what he was going to do when he got there. Everything seemed to go wrong throughout the trip as well, which just left me wondering if anyone was going to give him a break!
Timothy Spall is utterly fantastic in the film no doubt out about that all, playing a character easily twenty years older than his current age, changing the way he speaks and physically taken on that battered old man approach and that certainly tugs at your heartstrings even more watching him struggle to get on and off the buses.