Good story, keeping us in doubt all the time what is really true. Nice mix of SciFi and Romance
I saw this film at the Imagine film festival 2013 in Amsterdam. Though advertising itself as a festival for SF/horror/fantasy, this was one out of a meager set of three movies truthfully labeled as SciFi. Our main character (Joe) heard from this father that he is the last surviving member of the royal family of planet Zalaxon, exiled many many years ago because of a hostile occupation force. To prevent extinction Joe has to find a compatible partner, produce some offspring before it is too late, and eventually return to Zalaxon when the time is ripe. In the beginning of the film, we see him on the lookout for worm holes that appear on sparse moments, possibly carrying a missile from his home planet to bring him back to his roots.
A parallel plot ingredient is the romance interwoven in the story. Joe carries a device with him that allows him to measure "compatibility" when a candidate woman comes close. He is a certified nerd, not going out much, always busy with computing time tables for worm holes to appear, and has otherwise little interest in socializing. Also, while working in a comic book shop with an exclusively male clientèle, chances are very slim that he'll meet the right woman ever. Yet, one day Maria appears in the shop, bringing a box of things she found while cleaning out the attic. We see that his compatibility meter shows an exceptionally high value. It forces him to arrange a real date for the first time in his life. And he takes a lot of trouble to prevent the relationship from faltering. As a result, we have "moving" music on various moments, some of the time crescendo to clarify the point (we got it already).
The scenario is built very well, letting us viewers continuously in doubt whether Joe's story is indeed true or just imagination. He only communicates with his father by means of a hologram. Though explicitly forbidden to let others know of his background, he finally decides to present Marian to his father. Alas, precisely at that moment, the hologram does not appear (we know Maria inadvertently removed an essential part of the device). Moreover, the planet Zalaxon cannot be found on star charts, plus it being the name of a medicinal drug that Maria found in Joe's medication closet. None of those observations improve the credibility of his story.
For the larger part of the running time we see relatively limited use of gadgets, except for the last ten minutes where it really has the looks of a SciFi movie. But still, are we seeing a true voyage home, or is it all just Joe's imagination?? I consider this uncertainty to be the real beauty of the story, leaving us behind with doubts about aliens and life on other planets. That is A Good Thing for the SciFi lover in particular, and for the average viewer in general.
All in all, I can recommend this movie for SciFi fans and also for the rest of the family. The mix of SciFi and a love story makes it acceptable for a broad audience. The "moving" music may exaggerate a bit from time to time, but not to the extent of being annoying. The festival visitors gave this film a 7.54 score for the audience award.
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