One of the many joys of science fiction, as a genre, is that it can be pretty much anything a human mind can imagine. This works particularly well in literature, where there are literally (and literarily) no limitations. It is, however, much more difficult to achieve on the screen, where budgets come into play. Where grand ideas can come crashing back to earth with a bang. It is, therefore, often the more cerebral and interior stories which work best. As is the case in Guidance.
Humanity slowly rebuilds after the Great War. Eager to not repeat the mistakes of the past, which are blamed on our ability to lie, a scientist (Francesco Chen) has created a pill containing an app which allows people to detect deception. On a weekend retreat, a young couple (Jia Sun and Harry Song) begin to use ‘Guidance’. However, their trust in each other is already eroded, so they must try and outwit the technology in order to save their relationship.
Guidance uses the constraints of its microbudget well, cleverly creating a near future world which is both believable and just different enough. A lot of thought has gone into Neysan Sobhani’s debut feature. At its heart is a relationship drama. Using the AI as a conceit to add a catalyst into the mix. It is, however, limited in what it can do. Which kind of stretches the premise to the absolute, but Guidance is still an enthralling journey.
Guidance is out in the US on VOD on 17 June.