A portrait of the broken lives of four people (a vigilante detective, a worried parent, an awkward man looking for love and a suicidal artist) as they all struggle to cope in their religiously-dystopian city.
Preest is a masked vigilante detective, searching for his nemesis on the streets of Meanwhile City, a monolithic fantasy metropolis ruthlessly governed by faith and religious fervor. Esser is a broken man, searching for his wayward son amongst the rough streets of London's homeless. Milo is a heartbroken thirty-something desperately trying to find a way back to the purity of first love. Emilia is a beautiful art student; her suicidal art projects are becoming increasingly more complex and deadly. Written by
(at around 55 mins) When Emilia puts her cigarette out on a round white object, it clearly shows the cigarette falling off of the object onto the table. A few moments later, the next camera angle zooms in revealing the cigarette sitting back on top of the white object. See more »
The best film I have seen this year so far, its so brilliantly strange and such a brain-teasingly satisfying film to watch.
The film is a sci-fi thriller/drama about four characters dealing with problems in their life, from Eva Greens character who is a suicidal artist to Sam Riley's character whose bride ran away at the altar. These characters parts of the film are set in modern day London and their struggles may seem uninteresting at first but once the films pace sets in their stories take on as much importance as the real main character Preest. Jonathon Preest, the mysterious loner of the films alternate reality, Meanwhile City, is the only atheist in a city gripped by Faith, where every resident must have a religion which lends weight to the films plot and themes.
All the cast were very good at their parts, Phillippe does well as Preest without going into deep voiced batman territory and Eva Green portrays her very flawed character with enough humanity to keep you interested without becoming fed up with her characters behaviour.
The film constantly switches between the two settings, to both dramatic effect and to keep the film moving at a solid pace that should have you guessing at the link between all the characters and how the alternate reality of Meanwhile city ties in with them. Meanwhile City itself is a stunning and darkly captivating location for the other half of the film and provides the visual cement to the films concepts and makes for some of the most inventive design I've seen in sets and costumes for a long time. Its a Gothic vision of skyscrapers and futuristic landscapes with inspiration from cathedrals and ancient architecture.
Its safe to say that you shouldn't let anyone spoil the films twists or plot for you, because its twists often seem predictable before hand but upon their realisation they can be quite surprising reveals.
For those familiar with films such as Donnie Darko, the ideas driving the film may seem to be done and dusted but Franklyn's fresh approach to the concepts as well as its stunning execution make this film worthy of anyone looking to engage their thoughts in some very interesting concepts regarding, reality and perception. Go out and watch this film, it's conclusion will linger with you for days after wards.
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