Upstream Color, 2013 – ★★★★

I invited a friend to see this film with me. By the end I was seriously concerned whether she was still speaking to me. I liked it. She hated it.

Having seen and enjoyed Carruth’s debut, Primer, I went in to this film expecting not to have a clue what was going on, or to have any answers by the end. Half expecting either one of the main characters to drop dead at any moment from an unexplained cause provided an element of suspense that was enough to hook me. These stakes combined with the journey of discovery that we go on with the characters, as they piece together what had happened to them, kept me engaged.

Not knowing what to expect my friend found the film to be just a fragmented series of experiences for the two main characters. The score and use of sound to connect the parallel perspectives was at best distracting and at worst annoying. And don’t get her started on the lack of answers.

Based on our diverse experiences I’d therefore advise you not to see this film if you want a linear plot and clear character arcs. If however you want to be challenged by an all round sensory experience, add it to your watch list.

Vía Letterboxd – ekcragg

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I am a freelance writer, editor and trainer. A librarian in a former life.

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