While I cannot deny that the film is an achievement both in terms of its content and its style it did not impress me. The animation style is somewhere between a comic book and a photograph with added permanent marker. If you catch the film out of the corner of your eye you may not even realise it isn’t just a film shot with very low exposure. The style, with its heavy blank lines and delicate colours is doubtlessly haunting. However the stunted computer generated movements were to me very unnatural and slightly creepy to watch due to how stilted they were. However the colour scheme is rich and surreal and stays in the mind as the true element of beauty of this film; the dream sequences in particular are bold and stylish.
For the first and last 25 minutes I was riveted to my screen, however the film loses pace in the middle to such an extent that the entire middle section felt like it only served the purpose of making this a “feature-length” film. I truly believe that the film could have had far more emotional impact and maintained its audience better had it been a short rather than a feature. Due to the film’s documentary style there simply is no one character the audience feels a strong attachment to since every character, even our “protagonist” seems to have equal screen time or voice time. However there are many threads that feel underexplored, there are references to memory and the persistence of fantasy yet these are left to float as loose ends without meaning by the end of the film.
The most daring and interesting decision, made in the final few minutes of the film (I surprise I wish not to ruin for anyone out there curious) feels unfortunately contrived after a long monologue from a psychiatrist earlier in the film which doesn’t so much foreshadow the ending, it explains exactly why it s there and how we are meant to react. The camera is broken and we all see reality, but since we have been told to do so it feels forced, almost trite. I came away feeling disappointed, I wanted so much to like this film and it so nearly got there.