Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fantasia 2010: Neverlost (2010)

This is the sixth film review in the coverage of Montreal's Fantasia International Film Festival. While film festivals try to raise awareness on budding directors, it doesn't mean that you'll like all the films you'll see. This goes without saying that I personally didn't like Chad Archibald's Neverlost. However, I'm sure Archibald does have some potential as a director.

Josh Higgins (Ryan Barrett) is a scriptwriter from Guelph, Ontario, with a writer's block. Since he has been married to Megan (Jennifer Polansky), Josh has been living a banal life. In fact, the state of his apartment leaves to be desired, he's jobless and his relation with Megan is tense. As a result of that, Josh is an insomniac. However, Josh receives from his doctor a box of blue pills meant to fight insomina. Obviously, Josh becomes addicted to these pills because they allow him to escape in a perfect fantasy land that is the total opposite of his depressing reality. In fact, these "dreams" allow him to live with Kate (Emily Alatalo), his college sweetheart he lost a few years ago in a firehouse a few years ago.

As I said it earlier, Neverlost is far to be my cup of tea. However, I recognize that the film has its qualities. As a matter of fact, by combining the use of colours (dark ones for reality and light ones for the dreams) and Ryan Barrett's simple performance, Archibald brilliantly canvasses Josh's despondency and search for happiness in a make-believe world. However, as we get to see Josh's possibility to get the blue pills (and by extension to live in his perfect dream) reduced, Neverlost becomes a little bit predictable. Despite that, I don't see how the film could have ended and that's just fine.

Finally, many people who are targetted by this film would definitely like the combination of drama, romance and dark comedy. However, even though I have a certain patience, I didn't like the few moments when the film's pace slows down. Besides, I'm not much of a fan of films in which most things happen in the head of the leading characters.

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:Canada (2010)
Length:104 minutes
Screenplay:Chad Archibald
Director:Chad Archibald
Starring:Ryan Barrett, Jennifer Polansky and Emily Alatalo

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