(Film Review) Upstream colour (2012): a dream-like experience.


Rating: 7.2/10.0


If you like Terrence Malick’s visuals, or if you liked Primer, you will most likely enjoy this movie. However, if you are a more action type and struggles with slow-paced movies, you may want to sit this one out.


This movie’s visuals and soundtrack are amazing and create an experience of its own. I am willing to let a lot go for decent visuals. In the case of Upstream Colour, the visuals and sound compensate for a not-so-linear plot and dialogue. The tranquil shades of blue and open shots of the second half of the movie; compensate for a much darker and intense first half.


The plot, in a nutshell, without trying to spoil anything is about two people that had their lives turned inside out after being exposed to a mind-controlling substance. They don’t know how that has happened, all they lived with is the consequences of days “under the influence” when they have transfer all their possessions to an unidentified man. Kris and Jeff meet and are obviously drawn to each other, but they don’t know why and their lives have more link then they would initially think.


The acting is not superb across the board, but the main actors are good. Actress Amy Seimetz does a nice job in conveying the confusion and distress of someone who doesn’t know what is happening to them or why. Main actor and director Shane Carruth does a decent job as reserved Jeff, whose attraction for Kris joins a long list of unexplained events in his life.


It is easy to approach this literally, however this perspective ends up following short, especially in the end. There are several plot lines that don’t get closure or a satisfying explanation. So, I would face the story as memories and dream flashes, it makes the flowing of the narrative more comprehensible. Overall, this movie is a thoroughly pleasant sensorial experience.

First posted at Post-Production Reviews. Link to the film’s IMDB page.

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