I'm going to step away from the horror genre for this edition of Devlin's Domain, because believe it or not I do appreciate other genres. This time I've got some weird ass Sci-Fi Drama in store. It's not the shoot'em up, blow it up, invaders from mars type of Sci-Fi most people have grown accustomed to. So if you're looking for something different, look no further.
Today's review tackles the controversial subject of human cloning. I am fascinated by the technology, but it doesn't sit well with a whole lot of people. Religious groups see it as a science of evil, because in their minds only "God" can create life. Aside from religious arguments there are several other moral and ethical concerns. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of psychological effects may occur if you happen to be cloned or find out you're a clone.
According to research with animal cloning a cloned sheep is just as much of a sheep as one that was naturally produced. It seems to be a technology that works for the most part, but humans have lives that transcend basic instincts. There are so many unanswered questions about what actually carries over from one being to it's clone. One can assume that it would be a fresh start for a person with identical DNA of another person, but what if memories carry over? What if the entire personality is different? What if the environment molds a drastically different person? Can consciousness be completely transplanted from one body to the other?
We won't know these answers until the day the idea is socially accepted. Considering we are a fearful culture that day may never come. People can still imagine a world with clones and create great stories and scenarios. Imagine a world where you can always jump into a younger version of yourself. Imagine a world where your loved ones can return from death. Imagine all the lives that could be saved by cloning organs that are perfectly matched with individual DNA. There are so many possibilities and this film tackles one. It all starts in the...
This film went under a lot of people's radars. It stars Eva Green, who is a phenomenal actress, and Doctor Who fans will recognise Matt Smith. Eva and Matt play husband and wife, Rebecca and Thomas. They are madly and love and considering a child, but then tragedy strikes. Thomas is killed in a freak accident, leaving Rebecca in a world of grief.
That's about as normal as this movie gets. Rebecca is overcome with such mourning and love for her fallen husband that she is willing to do anything to get him back. The film doesn't give us a time period for which this story takes place, which may be for the better. All we know is that in this world there is cloning technology available for use. Rebecca volunteers to be artificially inseminated with the clone of her dead husband. Yeah...it gets weirder.
She carries her husband's fetus until the water breaks after nine months. We get several time jumps showing the development of the child over a couple decades. We see Rebecca's inner torment and mixed emotions displayed brilliantly by Eva Green. Her true intention is never really revealed. Was she just trying to care for the child that they were never able to have together? Or is this some sick, perverse way of getting back the man she lost? Regardless of intent, this is a particularly unsettling scenario.
Rebecca is extremely protective of her child and gets jealous of the various females that come into his life. It is evident that she is having trouble distinguishing whether it is her child or her husband. If this whole process was to recover her husband and be with him again, then you have to admire her patience and determination no matter how bizarre.
Is it really incest if her DNA isn't part of the child? Maybe not on a biological level, but I would still call that incest. If you've raised a child from birth and try to have relations with it then you're fucked up. It's equally distressing on the son's side, because he has a different frame of reference in the situation. He has no memory of a past love affair with Rebecca and has only ever seen her as his overprotective mother.
The way Rebecca loves Thomas is the kind of love a lot of us long for. It's a fantastical idea that never pans out in real life. The one true love that can transcend time, space and death. It's a nice thought and something to hope for, but after viewing these characters under the microscope you can see how truly destructive it is. Rebecca is sick in love and it's affected her entire life, not to mention her unfortunate son's life. Her inability to let her loved one go has brought nothing but emotional chaos. She was never able to heal from what happened because she never really let go of it.
The film focuses mostly on the character's emotions. There's not a lot of dialogue or even music. It's all just faces and circumstances. It's not extremely exciting but it gets the job done. It may be a little boring for some, but if you enjoy complex, philosophical mindfucks then this would be right up your alley. IMDB's verdict is a 6.5 but I'll do a little better and give it a 7. This isn't one I'd rewatch any time soon but it definitely packed a punch and made me think.
I think I may sit outside the horror for another edition. The 31 Days of Halloween are over after all and there's so much out there to explore. You can bet I'll have something worthwhile next time. Thanks for visiting Devlin's Domain.
About Me: I have a couple of different aliases, but for this column I will use my middle name. I am Devlin and I currently reside in Atlanta, GA. 32 years of age and still feeling immortal. Former Rockstar, current Pro Wrestler and hell, I'm still a Rockstar at heart. I got my first taste of obscure cinema when I was about 8 years old. My Dad would take us to the video store every weekend to stock up on classic horror films to watch on his projector. They were mostly harmless, PG-rated horror films like the great Universal monster movies. Then one night he rented a movie for himself to watch after we had gone to bed. I was so intrigued by this film that I wasn't allowed to see. I begged and begged and he eventually caved. That night I was exposed to a film unlike anything I had seen before. Ever since that night I wanted to find more films that gave me that same sensation. I wanted to feel shock and disgust. I found my place in the Horror aisle. The film I watched was Faces of Death. Thanks Dad.