Upstream Color (Drama-Sci-Fi)

UC“Self awareness is exalted in its purest form after trauma obliterates ones ego, allowing enlightenment to emerge from the ashes”

A young woman is drugged and then hypnotized over the course of several days.  She is persuaded into giving away her life savings to a thief, inevitably loses her job for her absence, and is left with nothing more than a vague recollection of what happened, as tangible as a dream.  After having to start her life over, she meets a man on a bus with a haunting familiarity that draws her to him.  Together they slowly rebuild their identity while also unraveling the mystery that brought them to their current state.

The director (Shane Carruth), who also played the supporting actor, used his craft to represent the human psyche without reservations.  The portrayals of inner turmoil within the two main characters was genuine, which complimented the authenticity of their chemistry.  Having two very broken individuals, with separate issues, and developing them in harmony on screen was impressive as well as engaging.

From the opening scene the viewer is pulled into a surreal sequence of imagery that only intensifies through each act.  The narrative of this film is given to the viewers in short fragments providing just enough information to keep you guessing.  The ambiguity of how these events were presented brought intrigue, along with a whirlwind of possibilities.

Giving the audience the option to focus on the several motifs instead of simply follow the captivating storyline, lead many to unveil abstract interpretations of film.  This style of storytelling encourages people to reminisce on what they saw, and after it digests, share what they took from the experience with others.

The direction of this film was risky and will not appeal to all audiences, but the fluidity created by the sounds, allegories, and the overall ambiance was choreographed into an artistic masterpiece.


6 responses to “Upstream Color (Drama-Sci-Fi)

  1. Glad that you got such a kick out of this. I do not want to be a negative Nancy but it is not my type of film. I’ve stayed away! Personally, I enjoy dialogue and a story as opposed to the more artistic style. I do recognize the talent though behind the directing.

  2. Because I didn’t like Primer all that much, I went into this expecting to hate it. Somehow though, I walked away from it being downright compelled and drawn to some tears by the end of it. It really struck a chord with me, and that’s why I wish Carruth would make more movies. Good review.

    • Thanks, this was his first film I’ve seen by him very anxious to see primer. When you get involved in this film it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed at the resolution with such an intense build up to that point.

  3. Great review! Been wanting to see this for ages. I loved Primer and heard this is in a similar sort of vein, so hopefully I’ll enjoy it as much as you did. Sounds pretty complex!

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