Anti-globalization activists Alex and Fred intend to plant a virus into the computer system of a Swiss banking corporation in order to to blackmail an international leader's summit. But ...
See full summary »
Anti-globalization activists Alex and Fred intend to plant a virus into the computer system of a Swiss banking corporation in order to to blackmail an international leader's summit. But then Alex awakes in a hospital after a car accident and without memory of the previous, crucial day. His girlfriend Lucie claims she left him and Fred seems to have disappeared. Reluctantly, Alex agrees when he is offered a neuro-stimulation treatment that might help him recover his memory.Written by
Absolute is a cool, audacious paranoid thriller for the 21st century
Absolute is a cool, audacious paranoid thriller for the 21st century: a high-tech, twisty cross between The Yes Men and The Parallax View which, crucially (and unlike fellow Rotterdam '05 title Primer) never lets its twists get out of hand, never becomes seduced by its own cleverness. And once again underlines the assertion (in a recent Variety review of another film) that "memory hocus-pocus is the new time-travel."
Intense, coltish Vincent Bonillo is Alex, an anti-globalisation activist based in the French- speaking part of Switzerland. Along with his colleague Fred (Francois Nadin), he has developed a computer virus which is intended to wreak havoc on the 'WLS' (World Leader Summit), a major intergovernmental conference about to be held in nearby Gstaad. At a crucial stage in the plan, however, Alex is injured in a car-accident. He wakes up with memory-loss, and consents to an experimental treatment designed to stimulate the damaged sections of his brain. This produces disorienting results - and also brings Alex to question who, if anyone, can be trusted. And to wonder what, exactly, is going on.
The viewer is placed firmly in Alex's shoes - and we're forced to pay attention as flashbacks and nightmarish dreams mount up, criss-cross: Alex's memories, fears and actual experiences blend into network of repeated scenes, images, lines, characters. This car, that shower, that pub. He (and we) keep spotting a certain woman with a dog - innocent passer- by, or sinister avatar of a vast, omnipotent conspiracy?
Wyder - who co-wrote the script with Yves Mugny and Maria Watzlawick - nudges Absolute into mild sci-fi territory, keeps at least one foot in the real, topical world (the World Leader Summit guestlist features the likes of Tony Blair) keeps the pace cracking along, keeps us on our toes, all the way through to the head-spinningly brave finale (easily the film's most impressive and memorable sequence). Denis Jutzeler's cinematography, meanwhile, is a series of unfussy but chilly DV images, shimmering with the frisson of a firewall facing breach.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this