IDENTICALS || 2015, UK || Science Fiction || Directed by – Simon Pummell / Written by – Simon Pummell / Produced by – Farah Abushwesha, Conor Barry, Stephanie Bollag, Amy Gardner, Keith Griffiths, Frank Groot, John Keville, Janine Marmot, Emily Morgan, Reinier Selen / Music by – Roger Goula Sarda / Cinematography – Reinier van Brummelen / Editing by – Tim Roza / Production design – Greg Shaw / Costume design – Suzanne Cave / Starring – Nora-Jane Noone, Nick Blood / Running time: 100 mins.
Identicals, otherwise known as Brand New-U, is a film that imagines a futuristic world and examines themes of identity crisis and paranoia, induced by a growing domination of technology. In its story, the central male figure is troubled as mysterious troops try to frame him with the murder of his girlfriend.
Simon Pummell’s film fits along the margins of a wave of recent films, with arthouse influences, that use the sci-fi genre film to explore, or sometimes imagine, sociological patterns in future generation that are nevertheless not so distant from modern day realities. In this sense, another important element examined in the film is that of personality and projected personalities by means of the narrative element of the doppleganger.
Despite the low-budget of the film, its visuals and special effects only rarely stumble. Its less rewarding imperfections are exposed more by the inconsistencies of the pacing, which feels meditative at first but progressively dull to the point of leading towards a lack of any significant energy. This certainly impacts negatively the sense of urgence in Identicals’ pivotal love affair, unaided by an underwhelming character development, that particularly in the case of the female role played by Nora-Jane Noone, makes them seem unreachable, lessening the audience’s emotional connection to their cause. – 2/5