Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

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In a near future where artificial intelligence reigns supreme, human emotions have become a threat. To get rid of them, Gabrielle must purify her DNA by going back into her past lives. There, she reunites with Louis, her great love. But she’s overcome by fear, a premonition that catastrophe is on the way. (Official cinema blurb)

The Beast has a very atmospheric, almost hypnotic style of cinematography, which at the same time feels quite ominous. Just like the main character Gabrielle you can’t help feeling like something bad is going to happen at any moment, a feeling aided by the unsettling music that accompanies many of the scenes.

The movie touches upon many different themes, like desire, intergenerational trauma, and ultimately the question of what makes us human. While these are all interesting themes, I felt that some of them could have been explored a bit more in-depth. For example, the description of the movie made me think that humanity’s relationship with AI was going to be a big part of this movie, but it was really only used as a backdrop. I think if they had tried to put slightly fewer ideas into the movie, the rest may have had more space to fully develop.

Moreover, in the second half of the movie it turned from a period drama to a full on thriller, and I enjoyed that half significantly less. I realise that this is mostly because I just do not enjoy horror/thiller in general, but I still feel that even so, this part took longer than necessary.

What did stand out to me, were the performances by the two main actors. Both of them did an incredible job in portraying their roles throughout the different  ‘reincarnations’. The characters were both markably distinct, and still believably the same ‘person’.  I also really enjoyed the mirroring of images, phrases or whole scenes between the different time periods. This really added to making the story one whole, instead of three separate narratives.

Overall, this movie did give me something to think about, and while I was cycling home from the cinema I felt like I had just returned from a completely different reality. So in the end I would say it was a worthwhile experience.

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