Sleek and absorbing
Hollywood Movie ‘Transcendence’ Directed by Wally Pfister, This English-Chinese-American co-production is absorbing and a talented cast further embellishes the narrative.
Recently we had ‘Divergent’, not fitting in the mould, now it’s ‘Transcendence,’ something similar. What next? Will it be ‘Transcendental Meditation’? ‘Transcendence’ is centred on Dr Will Caster (Johnny Depp), an artificial intelligence researcher who is striving to create a machine that possesses sentience and collective intelligence --- the old Frankenstinian monster theory. But extremists are opposed to this development and hence target him and his team of researchers.
They shoot him with radioactivity- tainted bullets and Dr Caster’s mind starts deteriorating. He doesn’t have much time to live. But his wife and fellow researcher Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) downloads his brain on computer in an effort to continue his project. Enter, close friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) who is ideologically opposed to his project. Or, does he want to seize power? Joseph Tagger (Morgan Freeman) is an elder researcher who is part of the milieu. There is also the blonde Bree (Kate Mara) whose facial expressions speak louder than words.
This is the set-up for director Wally Pfister to work on and he is aided by Joseph Paglin’s imaginative screenplay replete with lines like “you are not being targeted, you are being helped.” The sets too are futuristic and the plot keeps the viewer engrossed. It is horror of a different type --- cerebral. For cinematographer Pfister the switch to direction is smooth like Nicholas Roegg and others before him.
What next is always on the mind! Also, the climax, This English-Chinese-American co-production is absorbing and a talented cast further embellishes the narrative. Johnny Depp is as usual adept and Rebecca Hall provides adequate support. Paul Bettany has his moments but veteran Morgan Freeman just mumbles a few words. But ‘Transcendence’ is certainly worth watching.