Thursday, August 21, 2014
Pink Zone (2014) Action on Film International Film Festival
2026-a plague has wiped out most of the women in the world. The plague is carried by men and is so virulent that a single kiss can kill a woman instantly. The surviving women have been rounded up and are kept in protective areas. One day Emily, who lives with her father, the head of one particular "pink zone", is targeted by three toughs who break into the pink zone and crash her classroom with a plan that has Emily as a key component.
I'm mixed on this film. I'm so mixed on the film that I don't know what to say. There are things that work and things that don't and the two crash into each other. Stay with me because you'll have to see how all over the place I am.
I think the easiest thing to do is take the script and pull it out of the film and talk about that and then talk about everything else.
At it's core the story of the aftermath of plague is a good one. The film's premise is more artistic then realistic which lessens its impact in many ways, but if you just go with it the story carries you along once it gets going. yes we've seen the story of outsiders crashing into a closed society before and the film handles the intrusion reasonably well.
Actually what the film handles well is the violence. This is a deeply disturbing film purely from the violence. The abuse of the characters and especially the women is troubling and the sort of thing that will send some audience members out of the theater. The handling of the various acts has a visceral quality that is edgier than many films with more money.
And the lack of money really hurts the film a great deal. Shot cheaply in real locations the film has the feel of some of the films I used to do where rooms would be locations simply because I said so. They never felt like the place in the film, rather they felt like a repurposed room.
The film is hindered by some of the design choices. The all white clad "police" uniforms that are worn by the intruders are okay for about ten seconds until the echoes of Kubrick's Clockwork Orange become too strong and you realize yea it was an inexpensive way of costuming some of the characters but it feels borrowed and unrealistic.
It doesn't help that the performances are all over the places, with some actors giving real performances and others making you want to cringe. One of the toughs was really bad, and some of the other actors while much better aren't good enough to sell what they are doing.
To be honest the film is an interesting mess where bits work (the violence, the basic plot, the leads) and bits don't (the costuming, the supporting actors, some of the scripts flourishes) with the over all reaction being something that is going to make you shake your head.
Should you see it?
The painfully honest answer is that I'm completely surprised that this film is being seen by anyone. How the hell did this get play dates when there are other films that can't catch a break?
I know, now that the film has escaped, should you see it? If you are very forgiving, if you can look at the good and forget the bad go for it. The violence is nicely handled and threads of the plot aren't bad. Beyond that I can't say.
The film plays at the Action on Film International Film Festival tomorrow. For more details and tickets go here.