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I heard about this title mid 2011 and has been near the top of my list ever since, not sure what the delay was in distribution but it's been quite a wait, which fuelled my desire to see this film. The instant I saw the trailer I was certain this was my kind of film, vague dialogue hinting a hidden depths, long drawn out scenes with sinister undertones and beautifully crafted futurism styled sets (maybe a little to Kubrick-esk) but still great looking. Everything was in place for a successful romp around a mercurial world spawned and brought to life in nightmarish vision by Panos Cosmatos.
But, for all it's promise and as much as I really wanted to love this film it did fall a little flat. The set design is beautifully crafted, and the high photography levels of some of the scenes is something to be admired, but on occasion a little arbitrary as some scenes did not drive character or narrative forwards nor did it express or emphasis emotions.
The narrative is overly grand which I like (keep it simple) and is deliberately slow and off-paced, which will definitely separate the film lovers from the average watcher that may have stumbled across this film, as you will need to invest a little concentration. There was a downfall to the film as mysterious and menacing atmosphere that it postured at the start did dissipate throughout the film.
This is a first attempt by a director who clearly has a cinematic eye with a good understanding of film taking inspiration from some great directors. Unfortunately he didn't quite create the level of intrigue found in a Kubrick film or a deliver the ruptured reality of a Lynch film and missed the overall depth of a Tarkovskiy film, but it wasn't without it's own moments.
Definitely worth your time - A steady start from a new director but it's worth remembering art house isn't an exact science, hopefully he will get the chance to produce more in the future.
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