What would you do if you found out that you were dying and there was nothing you could do to stop it? Most likely, you would take whatever steps you could to make sure your family was taken care of. Even if that means that some of the measures you’re taking aren’t what they would want or choose.
Apple TV+’s new film Swan Song is almost a study of that type of situation – when you’re faced with unimaginable choices and don’t want to make them, or for your family to find out. When Cameron (Mahershala Ali) finds out he has a terminal illness that is beyond the point of treatment – he has to make the decision for his family. His wife and son don’t know about the illness, and after the loss of his Brother in Law, his pregnant wife couldn’t handle another loss. So the only options he has is to tell her and potentially destroy her fragile psyche or take a more extreme option.
Set in the near future, the ability to make clones is a viable option. While the technology is new, Cameron decides to have a duplicate of him made to spare his family his loss. Genetically perfect to him, and with all of his memories – no one can tell the difference between Cameron and the new version of him.
The movie brings up ethical questions for the viewer as you watch. How would you feel if that were your family member? Even if you couldn’t tell? Is it your right to make that choice for your family members? Is it even fair to them to have someone else enter their lives without them knowing?
But it also brings up other questions. Like how can he afford to have this done without his wife figuring it out? Yes, couples make financial decisions separately all the time, but having another human-created can’t be cheap, or at least we would think so.
The story is compelling, visuals stunning even if the pace of the movie is a bit slow. It is almost like a futuristic and serious twist on the Sixth Day and it will have you questioning just what the right choice would be if you were in that situation too.
Swan Song will be on AppleTV+ on December 27th.
About Swan Song:
Set in the near future, “Swan Song” is a powerful, emotional journey told through the eyes of Cameron (Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor (Glenn Close) to shield his family from grief. As Cam grapples with whether or not to alter his family’s fate, he learns more about life and love than he ever imagined. “Swan Song” explores how far we will go, and how much we’re willing to sacrifice, to make a happier life for the people we love.
The emotionally compelling and thought-provoking film is helmed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Benjamin Cleary (“Stutterer”), from an original screenplay written by Cleary and produced by Anonymous Content and Concordia Studio. Producers are Adam Shulman (“Defending Jacob”) and Jacob Perlin (“The Amazing Johnathan Documentary”) on behalf of Anonymous Content; Jonathan King (“Stillwater,” “Dark Waters”) on behalf of Concordia Studio; Rebecca Bourke (“Wave”); Mahershala Ali and Mimi Valdés (“Hidden Figures”) through Know Wonder.