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Movie Review



Starring: Elliot Travers, Geraldine Brophy, Amy Usherwood, Amy Tsang and Dean Knowsley
Director: Alex Galvin
Regal Films
Running time: 105 mins
Opens 28 March 2013

Through no fault of his own, Richard Manning is involved in the death of a hacker, an event which could mean the death of his police career. He is given a chance at redemption by entering a virtual reality program where pairs of policemen are given the chance to solve a seemingly impossible murder. Entering into the VR Manning soon realises that there is something very wrong leaving him less than a day to solve the murder...

Eternity (2013 - 1 hr, 15 min, 40 sec) is a science fiction thriller, written and directed by New Zealander Alex Galvin. The movie was shot in New Zealand and Hong Kong.

This film is a very mixed bag and some of the faults may well be artistic decisions, even having watched the film twice I’m still at odds on where to peg the movie.

On the plus side the basic idea of being stuck in a VR, with the only way out involving solving a seemingly impossible murder is a good one. Manning (Elliot Travers), his partner and the other pairs of policemen are presented with a scenario where a wealthy investor has been strangled in a room with only one entrance and the only way in is past a collection of his friends and family. So, either they all did it, which is not the answer or the murderer appears to have achieved the impossible. The only clues are a small piece of paper and a snake mark left on the victims back.

The film is competently directed, although the use of cuts between static cameras betrays the lack of budget. The special effects are few but also not noticeable cheap.

The real problem is with the acting. On a number of levels this is where the difficulty lies. Either the majority of the cast deliver their lines in a wooden manner because they are inexperienced or the writer/director decided that the script needed to be delivered this way to enhance the impression of being outside of reality.

The actors never overlap their sentences, which is virtually unknown in reality and sometimes scenes feel like the lines are delivered almost like an alternating list, rather than conversations. The monotonous delivery is delivered in a deadpan manner, this noticeable lack of levels of emotional tonality runs through almost every scene.

One of the aspects of the film which is without criticism is the score, written by Michelle Scullion, which captures a beauty and trepidation that the actual film fails to live up to.

So, a difficult one. Were they going for the restrained presentation like Gattaca (1997) or is it just stilted and devoid of emotion? Both interpretations have value and I think only by watching it will you decide. Even with the possibility of poor acting you still have a good central idea as well as a great score and the possibility of trying to work out how the impossible murder was committed.


Charles Packer

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