Sunday, October 11, 2015

Movie with Abe: Reversion

Directed by Jose Nestor Marquez
Released October 9, 2015

There is a genre of film that is often classified as science fiction which explores the near future and the advent of technology that, realistic or not, might be just around the corner and whose existence would radically transform the way humans interact and society functions. Usually, such an invention is presented in a very contained context, not yet having reached its full universal potential. Stories like this are often lonely as the purpose of the technology is to create a more internal sense of happiness and fulfillment rather than a public, interactive one. A device that allows its users to harness and relive only happy memories is sure to have sinister side effects, as shown in this haunting new film.

“Reversion” opens the way its signature product, Oubli, is best marketed to its prospective constituents. A woman who has achieved an impossible level of bliss details the experiences that led up to her current state, praising Oubli as a masterful and life-changing device that can truly alter the mind and the way she and others can see the world. Its creator, Jack (Colm Feore), sits by and smiles as his daughter and the Oubli’s head of marketing, Sophie (Aja Naomi King) shares her own perspective of the device’s transformative power. As the Oubli’s big launch hurtles closer, Sophie’s world is shattered when she is kidnapped by a mysterious woman and she begins to realize that her memories may not be as reliable or true as she has come to believe.

Much of the film features just Sophie, struggling to make sense of her situation and utilizing the device wrapped around her ear to recall the last moments she remembers of her mother and to immerse herself in more pleasant thoughts. King, who stars on “How to Get Away with Murder” and previously starred on “Emily Owens, M.D.” is genuine and believable as a woman who firmly stands by what she sells, and watching her discover that what she knows cannot be trusted is an intriguing experience.

The film transitions frequently from a focused character study to a less complex thriller with murderous elements and treachery aplenty, which works considerably less convincingly. This story presents a mesmerizing idea, but its premise is much more worthwhile than the finished product. The concept of memory and its fallibility, including its ability to be manipulated, is immensely interesting, and “Reversion” touches on that idea, but never fully expands upon it. Its subject and style are hard to forget, but this is a film that certainly could have run longer than eighty-five minutes to tell a grander and more emphatic story.


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