I was instantly reminded of Bladerunner, and I see many references to it in the images, the tone, the setting, the music – all without the facade of larger-than-life storytelling causing the dream state that makes Bladerunner iconic.
LOVELAND or EXPIRED (a bad title, because it is neither fully correct nor a genuine mis-lead) consists of the grit of reality, even if a bit into the future – not social realism, just the unwavering loss of hope, the emptiness of existence, in the big city or simply among other people. In this sense it is almost merciless – the only redemption that which is given freely from one human to another, posing as the singular meaning of life. And then even that is taken away. Maybe. Possibly, Unclear
I can’t really feel it. Wish I could.
The problem is not exactly the acting, or the lighting, or the directing. It’s the voice-over, or rather the dramatic necessity of the voice-over. However similar to the 1st theatrical version of Bladerunner, which worked to ease the audience into what was seen as a dark story, to lighten the mood in the tone of snub-nosed detectives of the 1930s – but LOVELAND without the voice-over would simply not work. There would be no heart, because that text causes our lead to be human – except that the voice-over monologue describes a character COMPLETELY different from the one of the lead – as the filmed lead never says or hints at brain activity at a level of poetry approaching that of the voice-over. Unfortunately and incredible.
I do however love the theme. How a person can literally adapt to a life without feeling, because their hormonal cause of deep emotion is taken from them, and then – if attraction causes them to produce these hormones again – begin to die. But even if the TAKE on the old story of the price of falling in love is actually quite good, it overstays its welcome – as if the director does not trust his audience with the material. Yet another script treatment – possibly to integrate the voice-over – would have made it a greater story and possibly a GREAT film.
And what happened to Hugo Weaving? That was abuse of an interesting role as well as actor. Nasty to just turn a good actor into function. And worse if it happens in the cutting room.
I would love to give it a 10.
But I have to give it 6.4. And if I think more about it, that grade will drop further. But it IS a good story – inside all of the noise, the pretentiousness, the director’s fear, the length without real payoff, as I am left to imagine what kind of film it COULD HAVE BEEN.
[where to watch]