Cinema & Digital: Vesper (2022)
Directed by Kristina Buožytė and Bruno Samper, Vesper was shot in Vilnius, Lithuania with cinematography by Feliksas Abrukauskas who gives it a real ‘otherworldly’ feel (reminding me a little of The 1988 New Zealand film The Navigator).
It follows Vesper (the excellent Raffiella Chapman); a young teenager who is adept at bio-mechanics, who cares for her completely crippled dad Darius (Richard Brake) who was injured in some sort of pre-apocalyptic war, and his brother – the self-serving Jonas (Eddie Marsan), who lives in his own compound, uses ‘Jugs’ (some sort of human clones) as slaves, and is surrounded by children produced by ‘breeders’ (who we never see) for their blood, which is sold to the Citadel; a distant place where only the rich and important live, leaving everyone else to scrabble about for food in a post-apocalyptic world.
Now the mere mention of ‘Post-apocalyptic’ is enough to make any film fan shudder with the thought of ‘Oh no, not another one’, but luckily no, Vesper is vastly different, and really good.
After a flying ship from the citadel crashes, Vesper finds a survivor Camellia, and decides to help her. It’s a pretty straightforward sci-fi, save the planet story, but the noticeable thing with Vesper, is that it’s told with great heart, and the most amazing special effects and cinematography on what was a very limited budget.
A fairy story with gore (all good fairy stories have gore and death) with a futuristic yet … medieval look and feel. Everyone is digging around and covered in muck all the way through. The effects really are breathtaking and it’s difficult to determine if the drone that holds her father’s consciousness really IS a drone or is CG. The acting is good and not sci-fi over the top, but rather you get a sense of the cold and damp and alien plants.
It’s just plainly a really good film, with a good story, good acting and great effects. The sort of film that deserves to be #1 at the box office and I hope that it will be seen, as it deserves to be.
Vesper is in cinemas and on digital 21st October 2022.
Review by Tina from a streaming link kindly supplied by Signature Entertainment via Alternate Current PR.