A new high-technology product will go into the user’s brain and polish up favourite memories to enhance them and make them much more enjoyable. A brilliant and wealthy technologist created the device and will soon be putting it on the market. Sophie, the inventer’s daughter, will lead the sales campaign. But as the hour of the offering draws near the device is giving Sophie cryptic images of the death of her mother. The concept of the film is better than the use to which it is put in this story, which is fairly slight. But there are unexpected complications in the plot.
Rating: +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10
Take your favorite old family photograph. It probably looks nice to you even if it is a little dull. A really good artist can take that photo and colorize it if that helps. Make the colors really bright. And voila, you have a beautiful photograph–one that is truly overpowering for you as if you are experiencing it for the very first time. What if you could do that with your favorite memories of the past? You could make each recollection bright and beautiful so that remembering the memory is a total joy. It could bring back memories and make them not just irresistible but also brand new to you. They could change your life. That is the idea behind the Oubli. We are not sure exactly what it does, but it enhances favourite memories.
A large Apple-like corporation has the Oubli and is offering it to the public. Spearheading the Oubli’s introduction campaign is Jack Cle (played by Colm Feore of TITUS). Chief spokesman and public face for the new product is Jack’s daughter Sophie (Aja Naomi King). As the hours to the public announcement dwindle Sophie’s nerves start fading into memories about the death of her mother. To top this confusion off Sophie is kidnapped by what have to be the world’s most incompetent captor, Isa (Jeanette Samano). More is going on than meets the eye. But we do not even know the motives of the kidnappers.
REVERSION was directed by Jose Nestor Marquez based on a screenplay he wrote with Elissa Matsueda. The production is economical without looking too bad. There do not appear to be any computer graphics. There are familiar faces in the cast. Colm Feore has been in many films, frequently in villainous parts. It is nice to see that Amanda Plummer (“Honey-Bunny” from PULP FICTION) is still around. Gary Dourdan should be familiar to fans of CSI. Michael Tuller provides the music with no hint of melody and only texture. There used to be much more compelling music in the old days.
The biggest weakness of the film is to not look at the societal implications of this new technology. A film with a similar device, Douglas Trumbull’s BRAINSTORM, does a much better job of showing the technology impact of the Oubli, which through most of the film is just MacGuffin. I rate REVERSION a +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10.
I have been trying to understand why the filmmakers chose the words “Oubli” and “Reversion.” “Oubli” is a French word meaning forgetting, but the Oubli is a device that enhances memory, even if it somewhat falsifies the memory. “Reversion” means returning to a previous state, except that the memories one has seem to be new and happening for the first time; nobody seems to be reverting to anything.
Mark R. Leeper
Copyright 2015 Mark R. Leeper