LIMERICK REVIEW: There once was a spirit named Ink,
who was quite a bit of a fink.
A battle between evil and good
That ended about how it should
And then they revealed the great link.
[meh.. not my best limerick.. truthfully, I’m getting tired of writing these]
UNCOMFORTABLE PLOT SUMMARY (inspired by this): [highlight for spoilers]→ Spirits injure and hospitalize neglecting father and neglected daughter.
QUIRKS: VERY strange chronology–some of the strangest in any movie I’ve seen. Dual timelines where “1000 years can be a day, a day can be 1000 years”. This creates paradoxical situations that you have no choice to accept. The movie is non-linear in ways that aren’t even revealed at first.
There is definitely a lot of symbolism regarding his connection to his daughter [highlight for spoilers]→ in both timelines.
Shot on a meager $250,000 budget.
VISUALS: The visuals really reminded us of the movie Avalon: Lots of blown out highlights, and various single-color schemes used for various scenes. This was more colorful than Avalon’s near-constant sepia, though. There were actually some amazing otherworldly effects for the parts that took place in what I call The Gloom / The Twilight (a concept established in the Night Watch / Day Watch fantasy movies). Though it’s not technically The Gloom from Night/Day Watch–it’s the dreamworld. Same difference as far as I am concerned. Trippy other dimensions!
The Incubus guys reminded me ever-so-slightly of some of the bad guys from The City Of Lost Children.
A great movie to watch in HD!
MORALS: Kengwis at IMDB says it well: “No matter how safe you feel, evil may find you. But no matter how far you’ve fallen, redemption is possible.”
BAD STUFF: A lot things weren’t ever explained–like why the Incubus are what they are, how they became that way, what their agenda is, who the Storytellers are, and why they all exist in that realm. The dreamworld, which is much like The Gloom / The Twilight from the Night Watch / Day Watch movies, isn’t really explained until near the end.
The movie itself was a bit scattered. It would have had to have been 2.5 hours (instead of 1.5 hours) to adequately explain everything, but the movie was tortuously slow and enigmatic during the first 40% or so, so it’s a lose-lose situation.
I would have perhaps structured this movie so as to be a bit more obvious. Then again, several twists were very well-hidden due to the deliberate obfuscation of the plot and chronology. In fact, there are even [highlight for spoilers]→ characters who are other characters that you don’t realize. Ink turns out to be you-know-who, and ‘guardian angel’ Liev means Lion in Russian, implying that Liev was Emma from the suicide timeline, and tying in to her telling Emma that she was a Lioness. A lot of people figured that spoiler out before the final reveal, but I’m quite glad that we didn’t.
Nonetheless, this film is a great piece of art that is unfortunately flawed in a few ways. It most certainly had the potential to be a 5/5 star movie, but failed to reach that potential. Much like The Fountain.
CONCLUSION: Not quite the fantasy movie that I expected. It was more of a fantasy-drama than a fantasy-adventure. Damn confusing and surreal. Flawed, yet incredibly poetic. This might benefit from another watching. I give this high recommendations despite my average rating.
Clint: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 6/10. Though I think if I watched it again it might improve to 7/10. I doubt it would gain another Netflix star, though.
Carolyn: Netflix: 3/5 stars. IMDB: 7/10.
The native public rating for this movie is Netflix: 3.5/5 stars (4.3/5 stars for people who rate like me–WRONG!), IMDB: 6.8/10.
And visually? This movie is pretty close to a 10/10.
RECOMMENDATION: People tend to either love this, or hate it. Carolyn & I were one of the rarer “in-betweeners”, who simply liked it, didn’t love it, but didn’t hate it. If you could stand The Fountain, you could definitely stand this. Read the similar movies section below; if those elements appeal to you, you should check this out. If you love a visually unique movie, then DEFINITELY check this out.
SIMILAR MOVIES: As said above, the visual style reminded me of the movie Avalon. But the fact that there were these “others” who had their own war between light and dark in a Twilight/Gloom realm next to our normal world felt exactly like Night Watch and Day Watch. But the ethereal soul-searching in a visually stylized world made it feel like What Dreams May Come.
However, it was more like The Fountain than anything else. The pacing, the content. The connected souls, the confusing passage of time, the confusing leaping back and forth, and the confusing count of how much total time is passed. Even the way they had voices talking without a character on the screen, almost in the viewer’s ear, felt like The Fountaion, as did the spiritual elements (though they were accented less here than in The Fountain, which often came off as psycho-spiritual bullshit).
It’s also a bit reminiscent of Neil Gaiman-based movies, like MirrorMask.
The fact that I wrote this much also speaks about how interesting this movie is.
Music: Pixies – Silver