2 October 2015 | lathe-of-heaven
Carefully crafted, Technically sound, Drama-centric Science Fiction Thriller... Rewatchability: Strong Blu-ray: Very Good A:10 V:9
Okay, I just re-watched this, and I do NOT know what the hell I was smokin' when I originally reviewed this, but quite honestly this film a near masterpiece! Serious 'Hard' Science Fiction, well done, beautifully conceptualized. I cannot understand for the life of me why the average rating for this film is only 4.4 at this moment. This is truly one of THE very best Sci Fi films that I have seen in a very long time. Powerful, effective, and most DEFINITELY engaging!
Clearly, the director and everyone involved poured their hearts into the making of this film. The performances are quite good. It's an interesting touch that the boy and the Mother in the film are in actuality the wife and son of the director. The boy is particularly good in his role, and although not really having much experience in heavy duty acting, he really did an outstanding job, especially in his scenes with his screen Dad.
The cinematography was also very good with some nice shots of futuristic looking buildings from different countries in contrast with some rather stark UK interior shots. Apparently, they had VERY little money to work with, but considering that, I thought they did an EXCELLENT job of putting this movie together. The editing and pacing are good. I particularly liked the sound design. I thought that it fit the scenes really well with a nice mix of Industrial and moody backgrounds that were quite effective.
The director mentions in his commentary that he deliberately left the last act and the ending slightly ambiguous, which is fine. I don't mind ambiguous endings at all, and I felt the film ended on just the right note... Another great example of a similarly themed movie (although having to do with memory) is the excellent French film 'CHRYSALIS' (2007) which I would also HIGHLY recommend for a Futuristic Crime Thriller!
I would keep in mind, though, that if you are expecting a really HUGE, epic Sci Fi Blockbuster (like the Awesome 'BLADE RUNNER' for example) this movie isn't about that. The look, cinematography, and style are very nicely done, but the Sci Fi elements are more downplayed and low-key. So, you might not get quite as worked up as you would for other Science Fiction films that have more effects and action, since this one is more concept and character driven. BUT... with that said, when the Sci Fi part of the story kicks in about half way through, the concept and story are very well thought out and executed, and the film most definitely DOES leave the audience wondering and asking themselves what the hell is going to happen next...
I had originally given the film a '7', but just after rewatching it now just about 3 years later, I most enthusiastically give it a strong '8'
Very highly recommended!