Sunday, 28 September 2014

I Origins (2014)

Brit Marling and director Mike Cahill team up again (they previously worked on 'Another Earth') for another vaguely sci-fi-ish drama. The core idea driving the story is that each person has their own unique irises and that such a detail may be the doorway to the soul.

Our protagonist, Ian (Michael Pitt), is a biologist who specialises in eyes. One evening, at a party, he stumbles across a woman he feels a connection to. After following what seems like a series of coincidences and acting like a creep (this is the sort of film where it is deemed acceptable to stalk people and take little girls up to your hotel room if it is all in the name of destiny), he gets to meet the woman, Sofi (played by the mermaid from 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides'. Like that film, her character doesn't always have legs), again and they fall in love. Only the romance is short-lived as Sofi dies. So Ian mourns. Until he stumbles across some data suggesting someone in India has the exact same iris pattern as Sofi...

The film gives itself a decent idea to work from and it could have used it in a more memorable way. Especially if it is trying to be the drama it clearly thinks it is. Sadly, the film didn't make it work in a satisfying or lasting way (I forgot about the film by the time I'd finished watching 'The Equalizer' - which I watched immediately after). It also appears to be, judging by 'Another Earth' and this, that director Cahill hasn't quite found out how to handle/incorporate certain components into the film, making it feel small, distant, underwhelming, and ultimately inconsequential. Unless that was his intention. Hopefully, he can hone his skills in the future so that these film scan achieve a little more.

'I Origins' shows a little ambition, but struggles to conjure much to try and reach its modest goals. It's not a success but it's not a horrendous failure. It simply simmers quietly in anonymity.

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