Native (2015) | East End Film Festival 2016

July 1st, 2016
Author: Meredith Taylor

Director.: Daniel Fitzsimmons

Cast: Rupert Graves, Ellen Kendrick, Leanne Best

85min | Sci-Fi | UK

First time director and co-writer Daniel Fitzsimmons’ debut is a low budget Sci-fi  his hand where two Aliens arrive to conquer Earth. But somehow neither the design nor the cliché-ridden script is very convincing.

Cane (Graves) and Eva (Kendrick) hurtle towards our planet in a spaceship packed with deadly viruses intended to kill off mankind. But the lovesick Cane is over-emotional and pining for the loss of his partner Awan (Best) on their mother planet whence a Big Brother like metallic Voice issues order to the co-pilots while Cane tunes into Beethoven’s Fifth, driven to despair and a suicide attempt, hanging himself from a noose and rescued by Eva and the last moment. If this all sounds rather unimaginative – it is. The main problem with NATIVE is the dialogue – for no apparent reason, it’s in Italian – it also seems clumsy and in short hand: When the two are eating food from a plastic tube, in a brief break from arguing, Cane asks Eva “Do you like the food?, she answers brusquely “Whether I like it or not – this question is irrelevant”.  The metallic Voice is equally to the point, advising Eva to “sedate and restrain.” Cane. Later, Eva screams at Cane “Do not touch me!”, whilst he answers “I want to feel somebody”. When Cane hangs himself, he is still under the influence of Big Brother’s Voice “This is the rational solution” he tells himself. But the Voice can be soothing too, telling Eva “I will be with you, when you need me”. Eva is remorseless about Awan too: “She is dead, disposed off, we should not speak about the dead”. When Cane is “turning emotional”, Eva puts him in a contraption rasembling an electric chair. Which brings us to the production design that utterly fails to recreate an environment worthy of a species so superior. The set-up is not much more than an arcade playground, where coloured lights are in playful interaction.

Nick Gillespie and Billy J. Jackson try their best to inject appropriate atmosphere with their cinematographer, but only manage to create second-hand images – which –  like the narrative, are a regurgitation of everything that has gone before in this underrated genre: Fitzsimmons is not so much a victim of his mini-budget, but also his lack of creative imagination. AS


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