Alex Garland’s Annihilation is meant to be experienced in theaters.
The follow up from writer and director of Ex-Machina, Alex Garland, is sure to meant some people think about their own existence; the film is adapted from the novel Annihilation: A novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy) by Jeff VanderMeer.
(What follows from now contains spoilers)
In the first scene, we see Natalie Portman’s character, Lena, being questioned, surrounded by people in protected suits, and what stems from that interrogation is a thrill ride of the accounts of her experience in The Shimmer, an out of space manifestation that is slowly transforming all living organisms on earth.
The films presents us the opportunity to question our responsibility on this planet; are we meant to live on earth, do we have what it takes to overcome the dangers of climate change, or are we simply vessels for another being to replace us and continue the path of our lives?
You know when its good writing where the manifestation itself it’s explained by or woven through the occurrences of the characters lives.
As we entered the world of The Shimmer, you are welcomed by a beautiful and haunting array of a new form of life. The production design is a true standout and one to be remembered for the next award season.
Women are out in the forefront of this story and by chance; it didn’t seem forced or a move to prove that woman can do anything, it was organic and simply right. The portrayal of women here is one to be modeled for future installments of Sci-Fi films, or in general.
Often times women take the side seat or being the lover without any input with the overall plot in stories like these, but here we are presented with well rounded characters, each unique in their characterization, leading an expedition and taking control. The performance by each actor gives a platter of diverse versions of what women can be, that is limitless.
A film like this is often hard to come by, few studios are willing to put money in auteur film-making and I was glad that Paramount took a chance on this one, however, it saddens me that is was met with push-back when the test screenings started and the producers felt unease about the early reactions and demanded the director to change the ending but Alex Garland resisted and now the film suffers for not debuting worldwide and instead on Netflix, just 17 days later after the US debut (reported by The Hollywood Reporter).
If people want more quality film-making, people need to support it in the theater; show up and let the studios know that we want these types of movies, and not treat us as simply minded, piggy banks people to feed on.
I highly recommend it viewing Annihilation on the big screen and hopefully you’ll do. Leave a comment below and keep on viewing movies.
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