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In film nist (2011)
A purely individual look at what it is to be a forbidden film maker.
Jafar Panahi: "If we could tell a film, then why make a film?"
My interest in Iranian cinema started with Dayereh (2000) by Jafar Panahi and since then I've watched a few other Iranian films of which most are directed by him. I remember after the first film I saw, I read about him on Wikipedia and read about his sentence and ban from film making. It is quite shocking and this gives more sense to this documentary which would have never been seen if it hadn't been smuggled out of Iran on a USB stick.
In film nist starts with Jafar Panahi having breakfast over the course of breakfast he calls a friend, Iranian documentary director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb asking him to come over. The only link we have with the outside world is through his phone. Before his friend comes Jafar has a phone call with his lawyer who confirms that he will definitely have to go to prison and that she may try to reduce the ban duration on appeal but it's probably all she can do. She tells him that it is not a judiciary sentence but a political one. When his friend arrives, Jafar Panahi explains the last films he wanted to do and how they were both denied approval and had to let them go. He has the script of one and decides that he can explain it, using his living room, the carpet representing the room in which a girl is- also- imprisoned and a chair for the window.
This is not a film is exactly what the title says it is. It is a day, a documentary at most. Most of Jafar Panahi movies give a lot of freedom to (amateur) actors who creates the whole atmosphere. It seems clear that this was not planned either, this has no script or no particular goal except to have a camera there, to document whatever could be documented before it's too late.
The setting is also particular as the whole town goes crazy over the celebrations of "Fireworks Wednesday" and the two friends stay inside, wondering what to do and how to do it. It gets particularly strange when Jafar Panahi starts recording with his mobile phone, filming the act of being filmed. I think the highest point of this film being not a film, is when Jafar Panahi explains the story of this film he was going to make and in the middle of replaying it... He suddenly becomes silent and his face tells us that he has strong doubts and this is where the quote I picked is said, he doubts the whole concept of a film, of telling a story and if it is a story worth telling. It might be reduced to the film he was discussing in particular, however, I would think that it goes beyond that, that it touches every film he's done including this one.
A lot of the issues are not entirely discussed, maybe as a way to retain dignity in the face of a sentence or simply because they are not thought out to be relevant. These very blunt, almost political and philosophical moments contrast with the comical aspect of his iguana pet slowly climbing a bookshelf or the neighbor who tries to leave her dog with him before he simply starts barking. It is also strongly incidental as when a young arts student walk in to come and pick the trash, a job he does to help out his sister and brother-in-law, suddenly the story focuses on him and as he goes on to pick up the trash, we follow him. In a way, isn't that what movies always tried to do, follow the strange happenings of life?
I liked: It doesn't get much more explicitly banned film, well this is not a film.
I disliked: Very random in a bumpy unscripted way.
70/100 If you are looking for a deep political look in the situation of Iran's cinema industry and its struggle then you won't find it. This is a purely individual look at what it is to be a forbidden film maker.
Read more reviews at: www.theordinaryreview.blogspot.com
Only God Forgives (2013)
In all, the film is a major let down, where the good actors simply don't act, the story is cliché and the dialogues are entirely dull or rendered inaudible.
Billy: "Time to meet the devil."
The movie starts with Julian hanging out at a boxing club. After a fight, Julian meets with two others and we learn that one of them, Billy is his brother. We learn that they run a drug trade in Bangkok. Shortly after, Billy goes on a spree and starts engaging in erratic and violent behavior at different sex clubs. Later that night, the police arrive in one hotel and find Billy next to a prostitute that he raped and killed. The police however don't arrest Billy, and the head of the police decides to bring the father of the young underage, now dead, prostitute and leave the murderer and the father of the victim alone in the room. What is quite predictable happens and now Julian has to redeem his brother's death.
The film begins well, with some clever use of shadows and lighting. We are quickly put in the mold for the heavily violent atmosphere of brothels and drug smuggling. However this will remain the best component of the movie and nothing else delivers. The slow introduction to this rude and crude world never picks up on the pace and we are left watching everything in slow motion. If there is a fight or a kill that will happen, you've seen it unfold ten times in your head before it actually starts. And the dramatic music can't sustain such a build up for so long.
Of the main characters, Julian and his mother are both despicable and the audience can not possibly root for either one. Their acting consists mostly of blank stares and the rare lines that they speak are totally vain or trash talks from the mother who apparently flirts shamelessly with Julian, even though she vastly preferred Billy. The cop could have been an interesting character but that story line doesn't go anywhere either. Nevertheless, we do find out he is quite knowledgeable in the art of killing and torturing people.
The gore is not too bad but in a slow film like this it actually doesn't do much. The pace just doesn't fit the gore. The symbolism is pretty loaded but it is never certain whether something is imagined, dreamed or lived. This ends up making the film look like a collection of psychological clichés of a wide range, from the oedipal mother-son relationship to the recurring symbol of guilt--incessant hand washing-- and other violent behaviors.
While I had initially liked the setting in Thailand, sadly, it is only further dwells into more clichés. I don't think I've ever seen a Western movie set in Thailand without dealing with prostitution (of minors). It is as though they feel Thailand has nothing other than that to offer to movies.
In all, the film is a major let down, where the good actors simply don't act, the story is cliché and the dialogues are entirely dull or rendered inaudible. The good aspects of a nice photography and shots are ruined by the extensive use of slow motion and build ups. It didn't manage to grasp my attention long enough to prevent me from wondering whether I really liked Drive or whether the good music and Ryan Gosling's presence had compensated for everything else.
I liked: Looks good if you fast forward. Thailand.
I disliked: Useless dialogues ("want to fight?"). Abusing two cool effects (red shadows and slow motion) doesn't make a good movie. Symbolic for shock value.
23/100 I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone. Maybe if you want to laugh gather a few friends and watch this in shuffle.
Read more reviews at: www.theordinaryreview.blogspot.com
Talaye sorkh (2003)
The film is primarily a social critique, offering no judgement but depicting events as they are.
The Man in the Tea House: "If you want to arrest a thief, you'll have to arrest the world."
The movie starts in a jewelry store where a man with a helmet is pointing a gun at an older man asking him where the jewels are. After somewhat of a fight, the older man manages to shut the grid on the burglar who shoots him in retaliation while bystanders look from the outside. We are then introduced to Hussein, a tall man of few words, and his colleague, Ali. Ali has just robbed a purse and discovers that there is a receipt for a jewel in the purse. Ali and Hussein work together as pizza delivery persons. The movie will follow the events that lead up to the burglary, encounters that Hussein make, his plans of marriage with Ali's sister and the constant affirmation of his social status.
Crimson Gold is a very dark movie, both in substance as in colors. Most of the scenes happen at night when Hussein rides his scooter through town and only a few scenes take place during the day. If I had to describe what the film is in the fewest words possible I would have to say that it is a social critique. We see Hussein poor and we are constantly reminded of it. We see his colleagues who aim for material desires while living on their low payrolls. We also encounter rich customers that Hussein meets but they are depressed or repressed by the police. There is a saying that one can't buy happiness and this might be the lesson we, and everyone in the film, learns through this journey.
Hussein is a very complex character with often very erratic behaviors and never many words of explanations. I wouldn't have guessed and I don't know if it is meant to be understood that the character is a paranoid schizophrenic, but the trivia on IMDb state the actor actually is. He seems indifferent to pretty much every situation except in few occasions when he might get really upset because a man reminds him of his social status of "poor", but he can also prove to have a heart of gold when, stuck and stranded in a street because of a police operation, he offers pizzas to everyone present. These scenes shone the most, as unfortunately, I think a lot of the other scenes were unfulfilling simply because of his lack of attention to his surroundings or to his interlocutors. He offers no judgement, denotes no pleasure or displeasure in anything.
As common with Jafar Panahi's movies, the surroundings are very bare and there is hardly any music. Most of the scenes are genuinely filmed in the streets and most of the beauty or ugliness relies on the mere city, a landscape or a simple interaction.
I found the overall message of the movie to be somewhat misleading like the horizons of Hussein suddenly turned black because he saw rich people are not necessarily more happy than he is. I liked dark movies and there is never a single reason to commit a crime, but given the tools the movie offered us, we are left wondering what is going on in Hussein's head and why does he do such things.
I liked: A clash of sorts. Characters struggles.
I disliked: Uncanny. One way. Everyone in their own bubble.
62/100 A slow unfolding of what we know will happen. A very dark and mysterious tale.
Read more reviews at: www.theordinaryreview.blogspot.com
The movie is a simple but moving journey.
Little girl: "I don't want to be in the film anymore. They tell me to cry all the time. If my friends see this film, they'll think I'm a nagger!"
The film follows a young girl, in first grade. The school finished for the day, all the girls leave. But she remains waiting though her mother is not coming to pick her up. The girl doesn't feel handicapped by her arm in a plaster and she accepts a ride on a scooter by a relative of a teacher to drop her off at the bus stop. Things don't go as easy as planned when she thinks that she recognized the bus she takes and jumps in it. Braving through the traffic she once again gets off the bus in a hurry after she thinks she sees her mother. Her journey takes a surprising turn when the young girl simply stops acting and decides to go home, she is not in character anymore but her troubles are still the same as she has to reach home.
The beginning of the movie really doesn't surprise people who have seen The White Balloon (1995), a young girl has issues with what seem to be the simplest task to any adult but to a child it can become as complex as a jigsaw puzzle. The shots are mostly genuine and we are really immersed in the dangers of the traffic, as it seems to be quite a dangerous task to simply cross roads in Tehran at this time of day. Even the actress will look familiar as she is the younger sister of the one in The White Balloon.
Where the movie shocks and differs from what we are used to is when the fourth wall shatters unexpectedly half way through the film. The young girl stops speaking for a short moment and we hear the director's voice giving her the instruction to not look at the camera. This is very uncommon and at first we think this just might be a blooper, but this is what the "film" becomes then.
It really puzzled me at first but I think it is such a powerful method. Whether this was really a caprice of the young actress or actually scripted, I wouldn't know, but if it was scripted it was a genius idea. If it wasn't it is not only great circumstances but great salvage of the movie. I don't really think it matters whether it was scripted or not and that's not what I would judge the movie on. Whether it's Mina or the Little Girl, her path to find home is a trip in itself, the movie exploring once again the generosity of strangers while some other by- passers do not feel like helping her at all.
The downfall of the movie-became-reality is the fact that the shots are not that clear anymore. Keep in mind that we are in a bus following a little girl running or taking rides through a town at rush hour. Therefore we often lose track of her, we only see car paint for minutes at times, fortunately keeping in touch with Mina through her microphone, which also encounters issues.
The movie has no great quotes, no great twists or a beautiful touching ending. It is simply a journey where the reality mirrored the fiction. I would actually think it to be better if we never knew whether it was all intended from the start as I like the mystery. I like the fourth wall going down in this unexpected manner.
I liked: The sweet, yet petulant little girl. Blurs the lines of fiction. Endearing.
I disliked: Suffers from it's reality-like filming. Most dialogues heard through eavesdropping with no internal link.
71/100 I was greatly surprised by its twist, the immersion was total.
From Beyond (1986)
The similarities with Re-Animator are legion.
Dr. Edward Pretorius : "The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another mind."
I was browsing IMDb and I went to the page about Body Horror, a genre of horror that deals with deformation of the human body, famously exploited by David Cronenberg in most of his 80's movies. It also featured the renowned director of body horror, Stuart Gordon. I saw his film Re- Animator (1985) and since it was pretty fun so I decided to watch From Beyond.
The movie starts with Crawford Tillinghast running a computer program to run a machine that we later discover is meant to stimulate the pineal gland in order to allow the human to go beyond the five senses. The machine turns on at one fourth of its power and Crawford sees fish-like pink monsters floating in the air but he soon gets bitten by one. He runs to his professor, the doctor Edward Pretorius, but Pretorius doesn't want to experience only a portion of the machine's capabilities and runs it to its full power. Things go wrong and Edward Pretorius ends up dead and Crawford being the only one on the scene is put in a mental hospital as he keeps repeating the phrase "it devoured his head". Dr. Katherine McMichaels, a young psychiatrist who doesn't believe in locking up schizophrenics believes Crawford and with the help of police officer Bubba Brownlee, the three of them go to the house to try to run the experiment again.
The similarities with Re-Animator are legion. Not only was From Beyond was made quickly after Re-Animator, but they both share the same director, both are based on stories by H.P. Lovecraft and they both feature the two same main actors. We find Jeffrey Combs in the role of a crazy scientist once again and his overacting suits, the cold-blooded, scientific ambition driven character perfectly. However, I think Re- Animator was superior, not only in its story but in its dialogues as well. I remember many quotes from it as being cult--From Beyond somewhat lacked those.
I was also not that convinced with the saturated pink tones which were left unexplained. The graphic gore is top notch, though it is almost too much and borders onto the absurd at times (this is where I think most viewers would think it is absurd a lot of the time, I still think this is a good example of 80's horror pushed to a limit).
I think the main flaw lies in the scientifically legitimate aspect. Where the goal was simple in Re-Animator, ----create a living body out of body parts-- here we are lost in a maze of rationale about the pineal gland, the senses, death and schizophrenia. The after taste is confusing.
I liked: Crazy scientist. From beyond gore. Crawford's deadly kiss.
I disliked: Weak characters development. Pinkish neon colors. Suffers the comparison with Re-Animator.
60/100 I would only recommend it to the fans of old school horror or H.P. Lovecraft and those who loved Re-Animator
Read more reviews at: www.theordinaryreview.blogspot.com
Shirin is not your typical movie and you are most likely going to be quite surprised by it.
The background story is an ancient Persian tragic romance that involves the Queen to be of Armenia, Shirin and the King of (neo)-Persia Khosrow. However, this is not the story we see. The movie is filmed in a theater and we see the faces of women watching the romance unfold on screen.
A very interesting outlook on cinema, narratives and emotions altogether, if one thing for sure it is that Shirin is not your typical movie and you are most likely going to be quite surprised by it. Although all of the audience are part of the Iranian cinema industry (with the exception of the renowned French actress Juliette Binoche), there is no particular focus on anyone and the film seems to jump from face to face in accordance to the emotions depicted.
It is quite interesting to see the differences, for example when someone cries during a scene, others might bite their finger or play with their hair. It reflects back at the spectator who might at the time do the exact same and a certain bond can or can not be formed. There are all sorts of reactions, the shock, the fear are both displayed and experienced differently. Some will, for example in a scene which most likely involves a battle, close their eyes, put their hand on their forehead or become very still. In addition to the biting fingers, some women also readjust their hijab and leaving us wondering if and why watching those scenes disturbs them so.
There were men in the audience and one could wonder why no shots focused on them. I wondered about this myself and it puzzled me, though perhaps it may be that the story being told is a warning to women about love. Also, the title is Shirin, not Shirin and Khosrow, which I guess would imply that the focus is on the part of the woman in the tragedy.
I have to admit that I would probably have enjoyed seeing the film that was being shown more than the expressions of the audience. Of course, it was quite an experience and an exposure to a vast palette of emotions, but I feel emotions are such a personal thing that they might be better enjoyed at the first degree, when they are still raw. I can easily assume that this would be very different from a viewer to another and one can relate more to faces describing an emotion than a situation.
I liked: A different outlook on movies. Womanly, in a way, as I wouldn't quite call it a feminist film. Background historical tale.
I disliked : Feels a little like watching a recycled movie at times, digested by others. Really puzzling at times it is quite impossible to understand what goes on on the screen, maybe it is intended that way, but it did bother me.
64/100 A very particular film, it felt like going to a theatrical performance of an old Greek tragedy and standing on the scene watching others watch it unfold. It feels really artsy.
Badkonake sefid (1995)
The film narrates a simple stories in a sweet way, heartwarming way.
Snake charmer: "You never take back what you've given! Your money is gone."
After seeing Offside (2006), I decided to see more of Jafar Panahi and out of the three films I decided to see, The White Balloon is the first one.
The White Balloon takes place on New Year's eve. Seven year old Razieh is sad because she saw beautiful gold fishes in a pet shop but her mother won't let her have any because they have a pond with gold fish already. It is a tradition to have a gold fish for New Year's and after discussing it with her brother, Ali - who is a few years older than Razieh - she manages to convince their mother to give them the money to buy a goldfish in exchange for a balloon that she received. Happy and with a 500 torans note in her fish bowl, Razieh heads out to the pet shop. However, many obstacles and just as many characters will find themselves on her road to the sought out gold fish.
This film narrates one of the simplest stories in a sweet way. On many occasions it reminded me of Children of Heaven (1997) - the simple story, the struggles of children and the pervasive themes of money, poverty, the crowded streets of Tehran and of course, all of this centering around a fantastic child actress, Aida Mohammadkhani.
It was really heartwarming to see this little child try and convince adults that this money is life and death for her. The way she has to impose herself because adults won't listen to a child is truly moving. Her issues are varied: the multiple attempts she makes to procure the money but also the genuine help she receives from strangers, a notion that is discussed when a soldier argues with her about the notion of what being a "stranger" really is.
There are a lot of things that we the viewers are never told, but this didn't concern us, we were too focused on the journey with the 500 torans to care anyway. The movie walks a fine line between the absurd and realism while exploring the edges and angles of social interactions. In no overt way political (unlike the other movies from Panahi can be) it is a very straight forward tale. We are pleasantly reminded that it doesn't take a billion dollar budget to film a good movie.
On the other hand, the movie arouses our fears at the outset, without actually fulfilling them. We, as adult viewers, are afraid that Razieh will get hurt or robbed at any moment and when we realize our fears were unfounded it makes us wonder about this misanthropic fear we have of other human beings who we class as "strangers". Maybe we've been fooled too many times and we are wary of the innocence children can have.
The movie could have explored more avenues - explore their family, for example, or had music and perhaps more landscape shots - nevertheless, those would all have been decorative. The movie remains at heart as the story it tells, short and poignantly bare.
I liked: No unnecessary frills. Razieh is a lovely character. Endearing. Innocence of childhood.
I disliked: Maybe some characters were purposely threatening just to provoke a sense of fear in the viewer.
78/100 If you've enjoyed Children of Heaven (1997) I would recommend this to you. If you like stories involving child actors this is a must see.
Read more reviews at: www.theordinaryreview.blogspot.com
Lord of the Flies (1963)
A good adaptation sadly stained by irritating quirks.
Simon: "Maybe there is a beast. What I mean is : maybe it's only us."
Since I just finished reading the book last night, it felt natural for me to check out the movie. I decided with the older version as it is the one whose snapshots came up while I was searching for the cover of my book to feature in my book review.
The movie starts with a series of black and white pictures over sound. We deduce from them that it is set in England, that a war, probably a nuclear war, has started and that kids are being evacuated by plane. We hear a crash. The next scene, we see two kids on a beach and they wonder if there are any adults left. They start by getting everyone's name. They find a shell in the sea, that the young boy who is only referred to as Piggy, informs them is a conch. In order to have everyone gather, Ralph blows the conch and they decide who should be the leader. While Ralph is soon elected leader, another boy, Jack, who lives only to hunt the wild pigs on the island, soon threatens the power of both the conch and Ralph.
The film is a quite good adaptation. It is very faithful to the text and apart from two scenes, I couldn't really see many differences.
I was annoyed by a few things however. First of all, I felt the music and sounds weren't fitting the atmosphere. I also think the scenes that lead up to a sort of communal frenzy among the boys were so frantic they lost all sense of realism. It simply didn't seem to fit. Last but not least, I think the acting was fairly poor. I understand that an ensemble cast of young boys is not the easiest thing to manage but a lot of overacting ensued which took away from the film's credibility.
The movie, which was extensively cut, was a good telling of the book and I felt they did pick out the key scenes from it in order to form a compact, yet linear and understandable tale. When seeing a movie from a book you have read, it tends to be a great disappointment when some of your favorite scenes go missing or when you feel the movie isn't understandable as a whole because of some involvements cleared out in the book, but that didn't happen here.
In many ways it reminded me of the French film La guerre des boutons (1962) but if had to recommend only one, I'd go with the French one. I think, even though Lord of the Flies' addresses far more serious cultural criticism than the, mostly, comedic relief of its French counterpart, the acting of the ensemble cast is far better in La guerre des boutons.
I liked: Faithful to the book. The island. The Lord of the Flies scene.
I disliked: The music and sounds. The acting.
62/100 A good adaptation sadly stained by irritating (to me) quirks.
Read more at: www.theordinaryreview.blogspot.com
A persuasive comedy, with a diverse and sympathetic cast.
Girl: "Stop staring or they'll spot me. It's hard enough as it is. You'll mess up my plan."
I recently heard about In film nist (2011), a documentary I haven't watched yet, but that is centered around Iranian director Jafar Panahi whose films are banned in Iran and who has spent time in jail for his work. While going through his filmography, of which I had only previously seen Dayereh (2000), I came across Offside and I decided I had to see it.
Offside starts with a crowd of men going to the stadium to see the football (soccer) match between Iran and Bahrain. Iran must not lose if they want to secure their spot and go to the World Cup. Amongst the crowd, a young girl is trying to remain incognito. Women are not allowed to enter the stadium and the female fans must prove their ingenuity in order to disguise themselves. The young girl we follow is quickly spotted and arrested by soldiers who provide the security. She is then led to a little spot behind the stadium where they improvised an open air jail cell. There she meets other girls who have been caught. Through the course of the match and the discussions with the soldiers we will learn to know and understand their struggles.
I felt a sense of familiarity as soon as the film started: the hand-held camera, the crowds, the everyday life, the journey of women were all very reminiscent of Dayereh. Offside is however a really persuasive comedy. I wasn't expecting such a take in the movie, but I liked it. The ensemble cast of the girls, whom we never know the names of, are diverse and sympathetic.
The portrayal of the soldiers is varied, representing many regions of Iran and different interests, and the interactions with their prisoners develop into something believable. The crowd atmosphere is palpable as the film was in fact filmed at a real qualifying match. Enjoying soccer is actually not at all required, something I grew afraid of when the film started as I don't really like it myself, but it is more than enough to witness the effect of the sport on the people involved. The title also plays an interesting part as the girls parked right outside the stadium are literally cast offside.
I liked: Rebellious and funny. Portrayal of different women. The awkward situations that rise up naturally.
I disliked: It feels messy at times, mostly because of the hand-held camera in a real live crowd. Less psychologically complex compared to Dayereh, but funnier.
77/100 I think I'm increasingly interested in films like this, that break away from convention despite depicting everyday situations.
Read more reviews at: www.theordinaryreview.blogspot.com
Errors of the Human Body (2012)
The film depicts a bare, rough and industrial vision of Germany which seemed to be in perfect harmony with the isolation of the main character.
It was after watching The Call (2013) that I decided to browse through Michael Eklund's filmography hoping to find other portrayals of deranged characters. Errors of the Human Body is a title that immediately hooked me and I wanted to know more. The poster looked marvelous and it seemed to have won some awards and nominations so I decided to see it. Doctor Geoff Burton was once renowned and a beacon of hope to the medical field, but a rare genetic condition that led to his son's death ruined him.On the verge of being fired he accepts a job offer in Germany. The transfer was supported by a young female doctor who was once Burton's intern and with whom he had a liaison. Once he arrives, he discovers what Rebekka is working on: a way to have cells regenerated extremely fast. However, the processes which work in amphibians seems bound to failure when tested in mammal embryos. This is until Jarek, Rebekka's previous partner on the project, tries it illegally on a mouse. Geoff, who was following the scene, steals the mouse in either desperate scientific interest or a desire to protect Rebekka's project. From there on, Geoff's mental health begins to deteriorate as he enters a conflict with Jarek and is plagued by his past. I was quite pleased with what strikes first in the movie: the constant ambient low tune of disturbing music and the quality of the medical environment which was not portrayed in the typical scientific way, but was filmed in a way that made it beautiful. The story is quite simple overall but the flashback of the past along with the deterioration of everything around Geoff makes the movie really smooth. Geoff Burton's character reminded me in many ways of the protagonist in The Machinist (2004). Eklund really shines in this deranged guilt-ridden persona, although he might now be typecast as the new crazy actor (that'll give Michael Shannon a break). The scene at the party with loud electronic music, bright neon colors and costumes is really a pleasure to see. In the background, a great deal of moral issues are dealt with, but the first plane is always about Geoff. The film depicts a bare, rough and industrial vision of Germany which seemed to be in perfect harmony with the isolation of the main character. I couldn't help but wish there was more that was done with the tools we were shown. In the end it felt like a really lonely and caustic movie. At least it managed what Splice (2009) didn't; to make research in medicine look good. I wish there was more and maybe this is where the movie feels a little short in its unfolding. I think I felt really similar after watching Antiviral (2012) where I loved the world I was thrown in and it was visually astounding, but the story left me wanting for more. I liked: Constant background noises and music. Geoff and Eklund's acting. Exploration and depiction of guilt. I disliked: There was more to do, more to say. Some scenes seemed unrealistic--for example, a chase scene with a mouse is far stretched-- the protagonist was after all a top notch scientist. 72/100 I'm really going to look forward to future movies by Eron Sheean. I like his directorial work. I would recommend this to those who enjoyed Antiviral (2012) and also maybe Upstream Color (2013).