Fantasia Film Review: Realive (Proyecto Lázaro)

(Source: IMDB)

(Source: IMDB)

Surprise, surprise… This was not a scheduled film!

Spanish director Mateo Gil proves he can outperform the big studios with Realive (Projecto Lázaro).  Marc Jarvis (Tom Hughes) lives a successful and idyllic life until one day he is diagnosed with cancer. Willing to let himself be put in a cryogenic statis, he’s waken up six decades in the future as part of an ambitious program to reanimate life. Ok, so there’s a some time travel, but the movie is not about time travel at all.

Mateo Gil is tackling the ever fascinating Frankenstein dilemma. Can we bring someone back to life? Can we give them a new life? Will they want it? Marc feels initially incredibly lucky to be alive and living in the future, but soon enough he realizes that his memories are the only thing bringing him joy. Did he make the right choice?

The philosophical questions raised in this film have been tackled before, but the execution of this movie is both vibrant and sparse. The past seems colorful, full of flavor, friendships and lovers. The future is sterile, clean but devoid of substance – a paradise of glass, plastic and metal. I’ve said too much. This movie is a work of art in more aspects than just one. As the audience, we can’t help but identify far better with the riches of Marc’s past life rather than his future awakening. The movie doesn’t just show us Marc’s past as his backstory. It’s another plot line running along, showing us a rich full world. At the same time, the future is soon filled with a sense of urgency, as not all things are what they seem.

Breaking it down:

Highs: Amazing scenery on both counts. The future is most impressive at first, but slowly Marc’s past becomes the lost dream to chase down. Great performances by Tom Hughes, Charlotte Le Bon as Elizabeth and Oona Chaplin as Naomi. This is one elegant movie with sumptuous and rich visuals and subtle yet strong performances.

Lows: I can’t think of one. Don’t expect spaceships.

Extremely recommended for science fiction and classic movie fans. Feels like this movie had to have been made at some point, but it’s brand new. Action-oriented crowds might want to abstain.

Coming up:

That will do for now.

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