Short Film Review “Neuroplastic”



First, the Recap:

To tell the truth. Nothing but the truth. While we would like to believe ourselves capable to accomplishing such a feat, is it not found within the depths of our human frailty the ability to offer partial facts or even total distortions of them in order to suit our needs or to save ourselves from humiliation or possible reprisal? Yet, is there not always a price paid for this? What if the truth was the only option you had? It has become a dark future in London, as a mind-destroying virus has infested the population, causing more than its fair share of mayhem. In the midst of this, a young girl named Heather (Savannah Whalley) watched her father (Craig Walker) die.

Now, many years later, Heather (Eliza St. John) has joined up with a rogue hacker named Evan (Jaymie Knight), who’s possibly found a way to tip the scales against a new status quo via USB sticks capable of interrupting the anti-viral implants all citizens have had embedded within them, the results of which could radically alter the interactions and dynamics of an entire country’s population. But, even as Evan engages in a dangerous liaison with Tech (Atlas Adams), Matriarch (Donna Sizer), and the menacing Ferryman (Graham Yates), criminals with their own agendas, to sell them his “solution”, flashbacks reveal that a more devious plan has been set in motion.

However, what happens when the ramifications of one person’s choices affect more than they ever could have predicted?

Next, my Mind:

Welcome to the Stygian underworld of a surreal and darkened future London via co-writer/director/cinematographer/editor/composer Scott Mooney’s upcoming 13-minute sci-fi centered short film effort that transports the viewer into a society ravaged by infection, controlled by implants, and no longer able to do one specific function all humans are capable of that can affect so many facets of decisions and their outcomes each and every day. Yet, into this comes one man who’s found the way to accomplish the impossible, naturally drawing the attention of less savory, highly criminalized elements, all of whom greatly desire what he has to offer for their own nefarious intentions. But, it is the deeper revelations that end up being showcased during the film’s second act and finale that throw everything seen into a whole different dimension, cleverly done to a point where this reviewer did need to go back and watch the film again to try and take in all the subtext involved. It’s a brilliant piece of filmmaking, and does require one to pay attention and think, which is always a good thing to me.

Knight is fantastic with his portrayal of Evan, a man in desperation to upset the New World Order he sees around him in the wake of the viral infection that has overcome his homeland. Willing to break whatever laws or fly dangerously under the radar of officials to see his plan come to fruition, the interplay with criminals and their schemes appears to be an extreme that even Evan might have reservations about. What then makes matters intensify is when we as the viewer are made privy to manipulations Evan is facing that he has no concept of, therefore making his character’s dealings and the ensuing results even more decidedly impactful, all well played here by Knight. St. John is no less amazing in her performance as Heather, a woman scarred by the traumatic experience as a child, who is now very much invested in embittered revenge and seeing those responsible pay. The cold, borderline diabolical, means by which she chooses to execute this retribution is calculated and deceivingly shrewd, but at what price to her own conscious and morals, much less anyone else’s. St. John captures this with excellent delivery.

Supporting turns here are also noteworthy, including Adams as the crooked hacker/interrogator Tech who seriously doubts Evan’s authenticity and achievement being peddled, Sizer as the Matriarch, a very ominous underworld organization head whose designs on what Evan is offering goes well beyond simple illicit plans, and Yates as the creepily enigmatic but well-known Ferryman, a fixer of repute who enforces the Matriarch’s will. Additionally, Whalley and Walker appear as the younger Heather and her ill-fated father respectively. In total, “Neuroplastic” is a deftly written, well-shot, uniquely presented sci-fi short film that should garner plenty of notice as it embarks on what will hopefully be a successful festival run. It warrants multiple views to capture its core essence and intelligently put-together nuances will also providing what could be the groundwork for possible feature film treatment? That’s what I think, no lie.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

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