Mittwoch, 25. März 2015


American directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead's sci-fi horror romance "Spring" doesn't quite work as a whole but definitely has some things going for it. Set in an Italian coastal town where a young Californian boy escaping from the woes of life befriends an enigmatic girl who may be more than the kind of crazy that he can handle, it transplants a Linklater-esque talky relationship drama onto hardcore genre soil. Ideally adventurous, atmospherically lush and optically striking, it's a refreshing splice that titillates more with the promise of alien fruit than what it actually bears.

While consistently intriguing thanks to its unconventional premise, the script is structurally and substantially off, with an hour of tease and no real danger, followed by a less than solid third act that feels faintly desperate in its attempt to be romantic. The two protagonists discuss about everything from living in the finite to regenerative embryonic cells but the prolonged exchanges sometimes sound affected and verbal communication just doesn't seem like the natural response to situations involving, for instance, the discovery of monstrous beings inside a loved one. Terrific visual-aural design does provide much lovely distraction though, compensating significantly for the failings in writing/editing. The cinematography by co-director Moorhead, with its tender, yellowish hue and delectably warm glow, dazzles from the first frame on. Whether gazing at crashing waves, blossoming flowers, writhing insects or decomposing livestock, the camera pulsates with the industry of life and death, rendering the film's cryptically concise title meaningful through an air of possibility and rebirth. Neither the score nor the sound effects are truly remarkable but individual insertions of artfully engineered noise crackle like live wire and succeed in giving the pervasive echo of restlessness even more buzz.

The two leads Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker are both easily likable, with the former bringing a particular dose of earnest youthfulness that's casually disarming. Unfortunately the performances and their chemistry are overshadowed by the inadequacies of a film too high on one cool idea without realizing how to turn it into a full-fledged narrative.

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