With her memories as her only company, Lilith is trying to survive on her own in a world of ruins. She remembers how the disaster begun, but also how things around her were far from steady.
The standard of post-apocalyptic movies is clear to most of us. We all know that it's not uncommon for independent sci-fi or zombie movies to step on all the same clichées. Be it the enviroment they're wandering, the cause behind it, the mentality of the survivors (or even the look of the survivors), or even the look of the movie. It's hard for them to win me over, and yet I am always curious when a movie uses the theme. "Population: 2" is another one in the line, and frankly it does fall into many of the same holes. Yet there is something underlying that later reveals itself, that does make it a lot more acceptable.
Luckily staying away from making this a horror movie, or even that much of a sci-fi, "Population: 2" is a drama about the last woman on earth after a horrible disaster. She, Lilith, does whatever she can to survive, but her memories are creeper closer and closer to her. She remembers the time before the disaster, and is filled up with the sadness in knowing she is alone - but also because of things that happened to her personally at that time.
"Population: 2" is lead by the idea of politics and products produced out of it, and in many ways it has quite an interesting way of handling the subject of global disaster. But there is one more thing that has been added to the movie, and that is the abortion pill "Pandora", which is advertised as an available choice for women. Without dwelling too much on the politics, Lilith's memories consist of the fall of her relationship, something that might be hurting her more than the dead world around her. If I were to give a really short description of it, then that's pretty much what I'd say - a description fairly void of politics. The actual post-apocalytic world and the politics are both less important than what our character is going through emotionally. To me, the politics only really worked as fuel, not so much as an actual stance. It's hard when a movie brings up topics like that, because there's no denying that people will try to find the opinion of the film. Personally, I'm too secluded in my mind to care about politics, and thus it's easier for me to accept when a movie fumbles on the subject than some other people would be. So in the end, I can't give "Population: 2" much credit for being a political post-apocalyptic movie. It simply uses a global meltdown to explain the end of a world, and abortion to give out lead character a loss.
That's not to say that the movie is bad. I think as time goes, Lilith becomes a stronger and stronger character. The more we learn about her past, the more horrible her present feels. Suzanne Tufan brings life to her character by showing many different sides to her. She's fully capable of coming off as strong and weak at the same time. That is, to me, a lot more believable than just being a hard-ass or a depressed loser. It would've been really great to see the story in chronological order, and actually focus on the post-apocalyptic stuff in the end only, but then that would go against what the movie wants to do. I think it's because Suzanne Tufan did such a good job, that I would've been curious about the complete journey, rather than having it done in memories and flashbacks. Though I can't hold this against the movie, since Suzanne Tufan still shines in the post-apocalyptic scenes. Perhaps even more there, actually.
I've seen so many independent post-apocalyptic movies that I can't deny being tired of most things offered in them - and "Population: 2" offers a lot of the same things. When done right, a post-apocalyptic story can offer such power and style that I keep coming back, but it's rare. Unfortunately the scavenging/survival aspect of "Population: 2" leaves me feeling rather bored. But the flashbacks and Lilith's emotional pain works as redemption for an otherwise overdone subject. If you sit through the movie you might actually end up liking it, as it grows a lot towards the end - actually offering a few powerful scenes. It's mostly a drama, which helped tremendously in me liking the movie. Give it a shot if post-apocalyptic movies are your cup of tea.