16 March 2014 | bob the moo
For the most part it is obtuse and subdued to the point of not existing
I had seen some emotive reactions to this short film and, although I try not to read the views of others until after I have seen a short for myself, I did assume this short film would be rather impacting in what it delivers. The plot sees a future where genetic perfection is the goal and those without are driven out. A homosexual couple live in this world and one of them considers genetically modifying himself to be able to become heterosexual and thus accepted.
The short film opens in such a way that it is really made clear where the film is coming from; instead of being a thoughtful world it is one of obvious "baddies" and "goodies" and this is presented in the opening credits which are as blunt as they are well edited. This opening made me think I was in for more of the same but, for some reason, from this point it almost seems afraid to speak above a whisper about anything. Director Hurley delivers the film in a way that reminded me of those people who talk deliberately low and quietly in a meeting – making people lean in or assume that what is being said must be heavy in wisdom and depth – it feels this way because this is the style of the film, very deliberately obtuse and subdued with very small moments scattered throughout. The goal I guess was to be intelligence and not spell things out but the result to me was that the film felt a bit too full of itself, like it couldn't be bothered to make the effort.
This is in the pacing, the content but also the cinematography, which in some ways looks really good, but in others seems like it has taken the east route of being folded in, dusty and dingy in the visuals. Performances are limited – and, in fairness to the cast, I think this occurred because the director didn't share the characters enough with them, so they match the deliberately folded-in style and have little else to work with. Politically there is an interesting idea in here about genetics and whether it is a good thing to have the choices or not, but such themes are lost in a film which is obtuse and subdued to the point where it hardly does anything outside of the opening credits.