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Yet again, originality pays off. This is a pretty small movie but it's also deliberately kept that way. I believe that if this movie had, lets say, a $50.000.000 budget to spend, the movie would had most likely still featured the same story and would had done very little things differently, since it seems to realize that its story and simplicity is actually being its greatest strength.

It's basically a story about survival and a post-apocalyptic one but not of the bigger than life type of sort. It's a very human movie and drama really, only featuring an handful of characters and focusing mainly on one little, 6-year old, girl.

The entire movie is actually getting told from her perspective, which is an interesting- as well as an original and effective choice. Kids usually see things differently, especially when they are still as young as the main character in this movie is. It helps to keep things still somewhat light, as well as straight to the point. It never feels like this movie dwells on anything, or ever forces the drama on to you. By being deliberately small, it more focuses on the personal drama of the movie, which often is something truly effective and heartfelt.

But by saying this is not a big movie, doesn't mean it's a bad or cheap looking one as well. It actually uses its limited budget to its advantage and it also besides uses it well. Just like its story, the sets are also all being kept deliberately basic and simplistic. It of course suits the post-apocalyptic backdrop of the movie. It's not like this movie is set right after the end of the world but the movie is set in a world in which the ice-caps are melting and people have started to adapt to the constant rising water. It changed the look of the world and, as well as its climate but not so much the spirit and will to survive of its people.

It's actually quite fascinating to see how the characters adapted themselves to the new situation. If one thing has changed, it's that the world has become a harder and tougher place to life in. And I'm not necessarily referring to the circumstances but more to the way people think and act and how they prep young children for the world that's out there, by being extremely tough for them at times but not to tease them of course but to prepare them for the big, evil world out there and to awaken their survival instinct, from very early on already.

It's a really well shot and told movie. The cinematography is beautiful and very atmospheric and the story that it tells feels very humble and I liked that. Some people might have some difficulties with it that this movie doesn't really seem to feature a very significant plot, with some big developments in it but it's simply just not that kind of movie. It's more one that focuses on the smaller drama and developments but therefore is also being far more involving and effective to watch, in my opinion.

It mostly seems to use non-experienced actors, which always is a bit of a gamble but in this case works out quite well. It really does add to the realism and provides the movie with a certain charm as well. You could say that everybody in this is basically playing themselves and therefore are being good to watch within their roles. So yes, I'm sorry but this also goes for Quvenzhané Wallis. Sure, it's great that such a young girl manages to carry this movie almost entirely on her own and she truly does a great job with it but it's not like we are going to see her in anything big, anytime soon again.

And the entire movie is basically just like that as well. It's great to watch for what it is but it's not like it's the best or impressive movie you could ever watch. It's a true accomplishment, considering all its resources and circumstances and it also seems to know its own limitations and manages to work its way around them, very effectively. But it's still the type of movie that seems more suited for the film festival circuit, which is not saying anything about its quality really but more about its overall style and the type of persons who are going to like this movie and those who are not.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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