one-off at the wrist


I saw this film this week. Not as bad as I thought it might be, once you get past the conceits that this type of narrative must set up. The idea that any [even a pared down dystopian city] group of individuals would let themselves be herded into only five different personality types is just plain unbelievable. But if you view it as a fable/morality tale then the premise becomes acceptable.

I have no doubt that the book on which the movie is based must go into much background detail as to how the society functions, which can’t be shoehorned into even a two hour film, though this isn’t really the problem with the story.

There are two to my mind main issues. One, unlike a film like Full Metal Jacket say, where the first half of the story follows the recruits during training and the second half is the story once they are in action for real, this narrative spends most of the time on the training part and the real action when it comes seems perfunctory. Worse still is if your main muscle are the only parties that really know how to fight then there is little … fight.

Secondly, when it turns out that practically all the main [or important to the lead characters survival] characters have either also left their faction or have direct connections with divergence, then things begin to feel somewhat forced. I have to admit near the end I half thought that the main baddie would also turn out to be divergent!

For me the main point of interest, beyond the usual grungy industrial wasteland look of the narrative setting, is what the film makers will do with the architectural cityscape. It must always be a tough call on the line between tech [it’s supposed to be the future] but also down at heel urban grittiness.

The thing I loved most about the film was the interesting colour palette.

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