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Linh Dan Pham,
In the near future, oil reserves are nearly depleted and Europe is connected by series of underground tunnels. While navigating these tunnels, Roger hears voices, one in particular. Seeking a way to rid himself of the voice only leads Roger deeper into a bizarre conspiracy of control - mind and body. Written by
Pusan International Film Festival
Metropia gives us a story taking place in a world that's destroyed and chaotic, similar to the game Metro 2033, and Andrey Tarkovskiy's film Stalker. Bleak two dimensional tones displaying a post apocalyptic world, ruins of what was once a functioning society, underground tunnels connecting the last few functioning societies and the occasional shard of color all keep the viewer engaged in Metropia's story of exploration and discovery. Straight from Swedish minds, the animation style is unlike anything you've ever seen before, with a style resembling rotoscoping mixed with cut out collage stop motion art. Characters are wide eyed, as if their eyes have been peeled open, motions are slow paced, as if mirroring natures recovery in such an aftermath, and were given a sense of collusion, as if everything is being watched closely by a big brother type figure.
Leaving behind his home of Stockholm, Roger embarks on a journey through underground tunnels to decode the voices in his head and find a super model by the name of Nina. Not before long, Roger comes into contact with Nina, who appears as a run down, make-up smeared slut. We also see the caption, "Listen To Your Inner Voices", on billboards, pop culture objects and even as a voice in Rogers own head throughout his journey underground. Soon Roger learns that these persuasive voices are not his own and that a greater, all controlling conspiracy which materializes from Shampoo is actually controlling the entire world. Joining up with Nina, they venture into the core of this all-controlling force, while fighting off the controlling voices in their heads.
Metropia may have a cool animation style never seen before outside of video game art, but it's uneventful story and poor voice acting makes for a mostly forgettable film. There are films that thrive from powerful story and acting, but aren't visually memorable, and then there are films that thrive from unique style and animation, but suffer from no story, or spirit. Metropia falls in between, with just enough story and adventure to keep you watching and a unique animation style that's new and fresh. Metropia is worthy of a single viewing.
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