How come when I was telling everyone silently in my head through telekinesis that I needed more young pre-final form Beast from X-Men in my life nobody reminded me that IMDB existed and that he was in multiple other movies including this one that came out after I had already forgotten how my type he was? Y’all let me down big time.
This was a solid movie that was tightly written, made me revise my guesses multiple times, and was *through gritted teeth* well cast. You heard me. This futuristic romance of two lovers fighting against…rationalism? efficiency? my dream future utopia? manage the impossible. No, not topple a well-run groupthink best case scenario postapocalyptic societal structure, let’s be reasonable about what two cogs can do. They actually make me care about Kristen Stewart’s character’s feelings.
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS AND FAN-GIRLING
Of course my lovely and talented and not at all just remembered future ex-boyfriend Nicholas Hoult managed to show an impressive range of emotion in a world where showing emotion had to be done on a microscopic scale. He managed to be anguished, overjoyed, scared, and in love while somehow holding the outward impression of a still pond. It was a joy to see his internal rainbow slowly fill in with color in a world that had at most definitely just white, not quite as cold white, brown white, and grass as examples.
Then there was Kristen Stewart. Now readers, I’ll admit to some Kristen hate in the past. I saw her in Speak and was so game for her Twilight and then hated her there and in all the roles after that. People would say, “dead face, one emotion, how does she still get parts.” But now I’m thinking it may not be her and that I, like normal, was right the first time. Because the first time I saw her I was sure she had a knack for characters others would find challenging because of the control they would need. Then the next time I saw her she was salivating over a vampire. So, first impression good, second impression I jumped on the hater bandwagon. But she was back to first impression here, folks. She was probably the exact right actress for this role. So maybe all those other films were just bad? Maybe stoner secret agent and living in a fan fiction world teenager are just inherently bad roles that nobody can really do well?
The plot was not really original, I’m sure I could point you to multiple examples of the same thing if I broke it up into pieces. But maybe it was unique in how it pulled them together as a story? I don’t know, I’m reaching for why this didn’t just feel like another imperfect utopia love story.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to live in this society. No emotions? Focus on work? No mother telling you she’s afraid you’re going to die alone and offering to get you a companion animal because it snowed and she’s worried you didn’t see people for a week? But I also rooted for these two as solid protagonists fighting against….a normal not antagonist status quo? Sure, let’s go with that.
I think the thing that was the most enjoyable for me was that while all of the potential “plot twists” and conclusions were obvious I didn’t know where we would end up. And I did like where we ended up. Not peppy optimistic true love wins the day and the not at all evil and very reasonable society is left in smoldering ashes as the triumphant lovers leave all that mess for the choir to figure out because they are busy being in love in front of a sunset. Not cloudy everything got more gray and less green and hope is an obsolete emotion like all the others so turn you cog. Not downright dismal with a Romeo and Juliet ending. If you watch, you’ll 100% get why I could see it going that way. I mean, it’s totally there as an option and I’m not saying there weren’t deaths, but at least there isn’t the cloying melodrama.
What didn’t I like?
I get that color sets the mood. I’ve seen the this color means this genre screenshots. But for once I’d like to not immediately know what type of future society it is based on whether they are wearing pastels/white or black. But nope, they opened onto a completely pale colored world and I was like, welp, guess this is a well-intentioned utopia that is probably better in the long run but that restricts some aspects of the human experience for the collective good and not a y.a. coming of age story about a girl who didn’t fit in taking on adults and the corrupt system with multiple male interests she’ll pretend to not consider but eventually choose between with the loser going, well as long as she is happy I know you’re what’s best for her I’m not imprinted on her but her daughter, system to be overthrown. Why can’t utopias wear blues and greens? Those are good for stimulating calm, balance, and efficiency. And don’t require bleach.
The lack of a true oversight presence. In some ways they had a lot of technology but in others they didn’t have a big brother-like over-watch system of cameras looking for deviance. I’d have run a better system if I’m being honest. Mandatory screenings, some cameras, visible flags to indicate the deviants. They were lacking the basics is all I’m saying.
Verdict: I’ll watch it again when I want to feel like romance is possible but not just for attractive ad executives who like in NYC and have giant apartments and a gal group. I enjoyed it and if you have access to it for free and anything I’ve said sounds in any way appealing then give it your attention. You do need to actively watch it though since so much of the communication is through body language. Will your life be less without it? Naw.