Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Splice [2009]
Starring: Sarah Polley, Adrian Brodey
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali

Two young, rebellious scientists, defy legal and ethical boundaries and forge ahead with a dangerous experiment: splicing together human and animal DNA to create a new organism.

This movie really divided audiences when it came out earlier this year, and i can sort of understand why. It certainly presents a very strange set up as a storyline, which can border on a little over the top and sometimes kinda gross. For me though, those were the qualities that added to the films charm i think, and since it IS a sci fi movie, suspension of belief should pretty much automatically happen when watching Splice.

With all it's melodrama, there's still no denying how entertaining the whole story is. This isn't just "fun" either, the movie is actually really interesting at times.
In the earlier parts of the story we get to see Dren [the creature] grow and learn how to adjust to her surroundings. Not only is Dren cute, but it's interesting to see how she adapts to her life and how her "parents" bond with her. As she grows into more of an adult, we see the story go from an entertaining "creature feature" to more of a layered film about relationships and morals. Dren isn't a kid anymore, and with that comes hormones and a whole mix of other problems. This is where Splice seemed to make viewers a bit grossed out, because a bit of hybrid/creature and human....erm....RELATIONS start to make things a little freaky. I admit, the movie is very strange at times, if i wasn't raising my eyebrows over the sexual themes of the story, then i was staring at Dren and trying to come to terms with how her face looked, she was so weird looking, while still being kinda...pretty, it was odd.
None of this turned me off the movie though, i still found it to be a really interesting direction to take the story in. I thought the film would have been a little more straight forward than it was, so i was surprised to see that the film makers really tried to give us something with actual ideas behind it.

Another great thing about Splice was the cast. Brody and Polley carry the film well, and they come across as genuinely caring "parents". There's a realistic feel to their relationship with Dren. As for Dren [Played by Delphine Chaneace], the design behind her is pretty cool, and i found myself liking her a lot. There are moments where you feel bad for her, and other times where she comes across as creepy. I liked seeing her evolve as the film went on.

My only major gripe with the movie would be that it could have pushed it's themes a little further. The sex part of the story was taken far enough, but Dren herself should have been explored more. It felt like there was so much more to her than they showed us. She is kept as a prisoner throughout the story, and her freedom is something she brings up a few times. Just ONCE i would have loved to see her break loose like crazy and go nuts. It NEARLY happens at one point during a roof top scene [my favourite scene in the movie], but they quickly reel her back in, and it doesn't go any further than that.
Don't get me wrong, i'm sure the restrained feel of her character was intentional. Dren is kept as a prisoner [for her own safety] , so it makes sense the viewer feels just as tied down as she was. Still, it would have been cool to see her abilities REALLY showcased.

Some people could find Splice a bit too weird, especially if they are squeamish, but i personally liked the fact that the film made me a little uncomfortable. I thought it was a fascinating movie, both this and Inception are two of the most unique things i've seen this year. I think a lot of people on here would get a real kick out of this.

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