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.