The end of the world seems like a nightmare to Ben. A memory of a past life that doesn’t belong to him. When Ben starts to remember Isabelle, the only love he’s ever known, he realises she’s missing in his life. An existential descent into confusion and the desperate need to find out the truth begins. This reality depicts a stunning, surprising and dark world. A world that is clearly not his.
It’s a mouthful, yeah? Well, it was an eyeful as well. Strap yourselves in, make sure you’re not dreaming and let’s get into this review.
As the description shows, it’s a good, solid sci-fi plotline that they’re working with. Lots of room for exploration, but not so “out there” that only the stalwarts of the genre will stick with it. There’s something to be said for striking the balance between original story-telling and sticking to the usual suspects. Watching this I got flashes of everything from The Matrix to Equilibrium. Maybe I’ve watched too much sci-fi, but I definitely got the feeling that Mischa Rozema is a huge genre nerd and wants to incorporate elements of some of the best films in the genre to create something unique – if not exactly original.
So… that being said… 7/10? you would ask if you were asking. Yes. because: for a 14 minute film, there didn’t really seem to be much substance for me to get into. To contrast, the Deus Ex: Human Revolution short managed to show me how the prosthetics worked, tell me a good amount about the character and still pack in an epic fight scene… and it was significantly shorter than 14 minutes.
Maybe it’s how proof of concept films work, I dunno, but I really didn’t come away from SUNDAYS knowing a great deal other than that this dude is in a world which may not be real and his girl friend has been ineffectively wiped from his memory. (And I could have gotten that just from reading the description.) And this brings me to…
You know that whole thing where you’re meant to pace yourself for a race so you don’t run out of energy half-way through a marathon and don’t jog your way through a sprint?
Yeah well, someone ought to have given this short film that whole pep talk, too.
We begin with a stalwart of the post-apocalyptic genre – an exposition from our protaginist. He sounds brow-beaten, defeated and bordering on bored. Excellent start – except that he just keeps on expositing (I deem this to be a word). Later on, when things begin to fall apart (I’m not making a Chinua Achebe reference, things do literally start to fall apart, and it looks cool) even that cinematographic brilliance is dragged back by the pace. Again – maybe I just don’t get concept films. But that really got to me and dampened an otherwise awesome viewing experience.
Omg, did I mention that things literally fell apart?! Yeah, that was pretty cool.
Based on the visuals alone this movie would be in competition for a share of my monthly entertainment expense budget. It’s got that gloomy feeling going on, without actually just being a bunch of scenes in the dark (yes, I’m looking at you guys: Batman, God-why-did-you-do-this-to-us-zilla and pretty much everyone else who has no consideration for those of us with visual impediments).
What I’m saying is that out of everything, the visuals did the most for the tone of this film for me. So, kudos, cinematography people.
All in all, I wasn’t gripping the edge of my seat screaming “Make this movie so!”, but I was interested. A good old-fashioned post-apocalyptic flick is always a good time, in my never-humble opinion.
Recommendation: Don’t watch this in the same week as, say, The Matrix, or Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind, or even in proximity to Stay – but watch it. Give this little gem its time in the Sun, because it actually is worth watching.
Watch SUNDAYS on Vimeo here.