17 June 2019 | TheMovieDiorama
The Replacement clones various sci-fi concepts and titivates them through cinematic showmanship.
Ever wondered what societal and ethical issues would crop up if cloning became mainstream? Well, this intricate blend of 'Blade Runner' and 'Surrogates' offers an illustrious illustration on just that. A socioeconomic commentary that rapidly explores a variety of morality ultimatums which would irrefutably change the future of civilisation. Think about it. You clone yourself, the end product replicating your human shell but acquiring a complete different personality altered by environmental factors. It becomes more successful than you. It allows your mind to erupt, filling the cranial space with jealousy and envy. Miller gently explores that with a well-written janitor, played exquisitely by McNamara who expertly alters his acting into multiple performances, essentially harnessing metaphysical goggles for the audience to glare through. This rage-induced yet controlled character is our eyes and ears. Staring at the futuristic technology that enhances the requirement for consumerism and listening to the hustle and bustle of this dystopian city.
Miller packs so many ideas into twelve minutes, which is an impressive feat in itself, that the main societal exploration needed much more time to develop and consequently resulted in particular plot points being rushed. Narrative pacing becomes inconsistent as soon as a specific character is kidnapped. The core concept hooked me instantly, and is what drives the story. Losing that intent and sci-fi tone, especially in a short film, forces the abrupt conclusion to be underwhelming. It's a common flaw found in most grand visualisations within a minuscule amount of time, however Miller balanced it better than most. The visuals, digital technology and overall production design were excellently orchestrated by Khan. And if anything, The Replacement left me desiring a full-length feature film. Vote 4 clones!