EVO­LU­TION

Art­house head­scratcher

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 8 May 15 | 81 min­utes

Di­rec­tor Lu­cile Hadz­i­halilovic Cast Max Bre­bant, Roxanne Du­ran, Julie Marie- Par­men­tier

Evo­lu­tion brings to mind Alice’s ver­dict on “Jab­ber­wocky”: “It seems very pretty, but it’s rather hard to un­der­stand.” This is a cryp­tic, small- world mys­tery with few an­swers, set on an is­land in­hab­ited by im­pas­sive moth­ers and their lit­tle boys ( all about ten). The story fol­lows one of those boys, Ni­co­las, who’s sus­pi­cious of the set- up, though he can’t get out of go­ing to a weird dark hospi­tal where he’s anaes­thetised and then… strange things hap­pen.

If you found Un­der The Skin and Up­stream Colour too ob­vi­ous and pre­dictable, then you might be the tar­get au­di­ence. Evo­lu­tion is ab­sorb­ing for the first half, with its won­drous im­agery of a vi­talised un­der­sea ecosys­tem, all drifting fronds and par­ti­cles, and Ni­co­las’s on- shore in­ves­ti­ga­tions, which lead to a strik­ing re­veal of what the is­land women do at night. But the hospi­tal scenes just drag on. The story can be seen al­le­gor­i­cally, as a child’s night­mare of, for ex­am­ple, where ba­bies re­ally come from. ( Al­ter­na­tively, per­haps re­peated images of starfish are the cru­cial clue to what’s hap­pen­ing.) But this glacial­ly­paced film might have had more im­pact as a three- minute mu­sic video. An­drew Os­mond

Evo­lu­tion was filmed on Lan­zarote, the Ca­nary Is­land which stood in for the Moon in Doc­tor Who’s “Kill The Moon”.

Charles Dar­win: young nowa­days.

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