Grimmfest Review: Vesper

Science fiction is one of the difficult genres to get right on the big screen, particularly when it’s an adaptation of an existing property. The biggest hurdle to cross is world building. Fans of a book, or series of books, will already have their own ideas and impressions, so managing and meeting expectations is extremely tricky. When it’s a fresh story, filmmaker have much more licence, but also the difficulties of introducing brand new characters into a new environment. Vesper does this extremely well.

Humans meddling with genetic modification have unleashed a virus which has wiped out plant and animal life on Earth. This ‘new-medieval’ is a pollution-ravaged world where ‘Citadels’ control food distribution and a feudal society is in place. Vesper (Raffiella Chapman), a lively teenager, has to fend for herself and her sick father (Richard Brake), who can only accompany her using a drone. When a ship crashes, she saves a mysterious young woman (Rosy McEwen) who may hold the key to their future.

Vesper is an entertaining and imaginative science fiction film which tackles the pressing climate crisis through the allegory within an eco-fable. The world is beautifully realised by directors Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper. Splicing the organic with a sprinkle of magic. The story itself is nothing new, although a great performance from Eddie Marsan gives it a certain amount gravitas. However, it is impressive just how immersive and believable their creation is. Allowing the audience to empathise with Vesper’s situation and the danger which surrounds her.

Vesper screened at Grimmfest. Vesper is in cinemas and on demand in the UK on 21 October.

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