Vivarium - Urban Horror Dystopia directed by Lorcan Finnegan
Jesse Eisenberg and Imogene Pots in Ireland / Danmark / Belgium co-production
Vivarium is a project of Lorcan Finnegan and Garreth Shenley, created in Ireland / Danmark / Belgium co-production. When I say the project, I think this dystopian film can be considered a project, more than a box-office piece. Although we cannot downplay the results at the box office. Earnings are a fascinating $ 123 million. When you read a little about the reactions of people who watched a movie, it usually comes down to the question: "What is this?"
The movie is 97 minutes long and a roughly 30 - minute form would be perfectly suited to the very idea of the film. Synopsis of the movie is appropriate for Black Mirror, or maybe Twilight Zone. The rest is a superb production, two top actors, and a dystopian nightmare. Is that enough? It remains up to you if you decide to watch the controversial film. The movie as expected divided, the audience, and the criticism. The view of the future of parenting and the shared life of two young people in this film is not at all optimistic.
Tom and Gemma decide to buy a house in the suburb of Yonder. It will be the worst decision of their lives!!
Tom - starring Jesse Eisenberg and Gemma - starring Imogen Pots, a young couple thinking about living together and finding a suitable home they can afford. It is about ordinary young people. Gemma is a teacher, and Tom is an outdoor maintenance worker. Their finances are not their forte. When they read that a cheap opportunity is being offered in the new Yonder neighbourhood, they hope that it could solve their housing problems. In suburb, the couple meets with a somewhat creepy guy named Martin - starring Johnatan Aris. He shows them the house and then disappears. Before they could tell him they couldn't afford the house. The car ride through the suburb is endless. When they run out of gas, Tom and Gemma realize they are trapped in a futuristic settlement with no way out. At their house is number 9. Everywhere they go, the house with number 9 is in front of them. Again and again. The settlement is impersonally identical. The artificial sun and the sketched clouds add to this maze the creepiness of a futuristic trap from which there is no way out.
After a couple of weeks, they find a baby in front of the house and the inscription: "Raise the child and be released." The baby is growing overnight, in a few weeks already a boy who needs to go to school. It was clear by then that the creepy kid was a diminished version of Martin. Tom can not stand him, and Gemma has some kind of maternal instincts. As the baby grows, Tom and Gemma are weakened. In the early age of 'The Boy', Tom was already exhausted. Gemma was still holding on. Tom digs a hole in his yard, trying to reduce the pressure he feels, by physically making a senseless attempt to escape through a hole in the ground. She finds corpses buried in body bags. Everything is clear now.
This is not horror, this is a dystopian view of parenting or the coexistence of young people in the near future.
Content written like this may give the impression of creepy horror, with action elements. If you think this, you are very wrong. The film has been slowed down to the extent of the art of leisure. The middle part of the film, when a young couple tries to escape from a dystopian trap, is slow and irritating. They spin in endless circles. And us with them. Eisenberg and the Pots do their best, but the story is scarce and predictable. In the form of a short film, I believe that this dystopian work would accumulate awards at specialized festivals. Like this, it's at least 45 minutes too long. Lamenting about the future, which obviously will not be inclined to the traditional notion of parenting and cohabitation of married couples, still takes too long.
Director Lorcan Finnegan And cameraman MacGregor have shot mostly short films so far!
If we look at the movie through messages, then it's a very interesting piece of work. Today's notion of living together with loans and the little houses in the suburbs seems to be utopian here. Impersonal suburbs with impersonal streets. Even the sky over the inhabitants is impersonal. Individuality is suppressed, material things are preferred. It cannot be escaped. Not even through a hole in the ground. After all, you can't dig a hole in the ground to Australia? If you choose to parent, then you are in even bigger trouble. Children are raised to the pedestal of evolution. Immortality through the continuation of the species. As your children grow, it takes away your life energy, and you fade a little. Until you disappear. Pure natural order. Some basic ideas that run through the movie are very interesting.
Their implementation somehow goes through the performance of two great actors, Eisenberg, and Pots. But again, it all takes too long and too slow. There are some interesting links between this movie and the great camera of Spaniard MacGregor (Miguel Lopez Ximenez de Olaso). MacGregor has worked on numerous films so far, mostly as a cameraman. They were all short films. That and the fact that director and screenwriter Lorcan Finnegan has only had one feature film in his career. All his other films were - short films!
If you look at Vivarium as an art dystopian film that sends powerful messages about the future of coexistence and parenting, you will be satisfied. If you look at the film through the prism of critique of modern lifestyles, uniformity, and impersonality - you will be pleased. If you want a fun movie moment and a moment of magic that will drag you into the beautiful world of moving pictures, you better not indulge in watching this movie. You will be tired after twenty minutes.