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Payday 2 Review

Cart: Payday 2
Cab: PC / PS3 / Xbox 360
Coin: Overkill Software

I once had this great idea for a film.

It came to me after reading a news article about an Australian mother travelling abroad with her two young sons. The coastal village they were staying in was hit by a tsunami and, whilst trying to rescue both her boys from the raging torrent, she had to make the unimaginable decision about which child to save, knowing that she couldn’t save both. So the mother lets one child go and saves the other.

Miraculously, both boys survived, but as a new parent myself, the tale sent a shiver through to my very core – and struck me as an amazing premise for a film.

The idea was to have the tsunami as the opening act, with the film cutting to black as she lets one child go, screaming in emotional agony. Fast forwards fifteen years and we find the woman and her remaining son living a somewhat barren existence, largely as recluses – the mother socially and the son quite literally. The son refuses to leave the home as an OCD sufferer who largely blames his mother for the death of his brother. The mother is a broken, ‘invisible’ character who works as an assistant at a primary school. There are clear undertones of her needing connection with young children, so as to ease her ongoing guilt and pain.

There was some vague idea of her intervening in a well-meaning but ultimately unwise manner in the affairs of a child she suspects of being abused, which backfires horribly and leads to her removal from the School. Throughout this, her relationship with her son becomes increasingly fraught with him refusing to even see or speak to what little family and friends the woman has that visit her.

Bear with it. Me, not the game.

Bear with it. Me, not the game.

The ‘twist’ in the tale comes through an intense climax in their relationship as the mother tries to force her son outside their home for his own good. It then transpires, through a series of flashbacks and insights, that both boys died in the tsunami and that the remaining son is actually the ghost of the son that she let go. He has haunted her ever since, never letting her forget what she did. She realises that she knew this all along, but was simply unable to accept the truth.

As they reach some form of emotional reconciliation and embrace each other, the film cuts back to the original opening scene, as the tsunami bears down on all three family members. The mother looks at her children in despair, holds them both close, and lets the wave take them all under. The viewer is left wondering if this is some form of alternate reality, a regret playing out in the mother’s mind in the present, or if the entire film was actually the mother playing out in her mind what might happen if she let one child go to save the other.

I had this idea over a decade ago and still think that it would make a great film with an original premise – albeit one that borrows here and there from others. The thing is, I realise that I lack the skills and experience required to turn even a strong concept into a worthy reality.

Much like Overkill Software with Payday 2.

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Husband. Parent. Gamer. Go figure.

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