I’ve at all times had an curiosity in films that (in a semi sensible means) try to sort out our present and future relationship with expertise. It’s a balancing act, you wish to convey the hazards, but additionally keep away from coming throughout as an previous man yelling at a cloud. As a society, most individuals have some concept of the place expertise might go, we’re in an attention-grabbing center interval the place huge leaps of science appear to occur consistently, however the robot-led dystopian future hasn’t occurred (but). We are able to already see how tech is used, and it’s implicitly (and explicitly) weaponised in opposition to us by companies. These ideas are ones I appear to share with Brandon Cronenberg, because it has turn into a by way of line between his debut Antiviral and now Possessor.
In a world and time not too dissimilar to our personal, utilising a brain-implant expertise, Vos (Andrea Riseborough) takes management of different folks’s our bodies to execute excessive profile targets. Whereas being groomed for an upcoming promotion, and struggling together with her house life, she is assigned a brand new excessive profile mission. She loses herself within the function of Colin (Christopher Abbott) son-in-law of a excessive powered businessman (Sean Bean), with the target of eliminating his in-law, his spouse, after which himself whereas making it plausible sufficient to not come up suspicion. All so the facility of the household bussiness falls within the desired arms.
From its stunning opening scene Possessor establishes itself expertly. With out giving an excessive amount of away, we get given a glimpse into how a possession assassination would occur, displaying the top product with out the method, then working again. This alongside one other scene horrific part involving a masks, which being featured in lots of the movies promoting solidify the movies originality, and Cronenberg’s aptitude for visible model. The person is aware of the best way to put collectively a scene. The performing right here must also be recommended, as Abbott nails one in every of my private favorite performing situations; taking part in a personality who performs one other character. Going two ranges deep in a task is at all times a powerful feat.
Regardless of it being very effectively put collectively, with the occasional shocker of a scene, my enjoyment of the movie ends there. Possessor is a movie places itself in bizarre place the place it strips again the story for the sake of basic tone, however on some degree nonetheless tries to behave as a commentary. The sparseness of the story finally ends up leaving the viewer with lengthy stretches of time the place you’re simply ready for something to occur. That is all of the whereas struggling to actually say something other than a broad level about companies, and the way mass shopper expertise works. Then factors a finger at one thing earlier than exploding in sporadic bursts of violence. The problems I’ve with this movie additionally align with ones I had with Antiviral, the place it comes throughout as if Cronenberg as a author has give you an idea he desires to make use of to kick off a movie, however doesn’t actually know the best way to absolutely realise it.
There’s a really actual battle at this time with the connection between how we use expertise and id, theres no consesnus on how we must be interacting with the virual vs actuality. Cronenberg, describes it saying “folks have these moments the place both they really feel like they should play a personality to current themselves” – I’m certain many can admit to presenting themselves in a different way on-line in comparison with their actual life for instance. I believe Possessor shoots for the same goal as one thing like Black Mirror attempting to deal with this. They each construct up a universe for a story that options an exaggerated model of expertise that exists now. The distinction is that Black Mirror makes use of this to inform a human story round this exaggeration, the place Possessor doesn’t. It builds the world, distinguishes its look, however struggles to take it additional than that.
(It’s perhaps price noting, that the model of the movie I ended up watching wasn’t in the very best of high quality, and with a really visible movie, your outcomes might fluctuate. However my very own curiosity of how it could look below higher situations will not be sufficient to justify a re-watch.)
Possessor is on digital platforms 27 November from Signature Leisure