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The film has a simple plot, its post-apocalyptic where a chosen three
of the younger generation compete in a leadership trial to be the next
chief of their tribe. I liked the costume and make up design, and the
carved masks of the warrior tribe the 3 main characters cross paths
with reminded me of 'predator'
The film is well paced, was shot on a Sony A7 mostly at night which can
be problematic, especially for a low budget indie. So I was impressed
by the innovative way they lit the location, they bounced light off a
huge helium filled balloon creating portable moonlight. special mention for the cinematographer George Burt, as overall it looked great!
Good Solid low budget indie film
Wonderful story, beautiful ambiance, creative cinematography and overall superb acting. Marc Zammit's role as the venerable Ares was immensely immersive and believable. Jade Hobday shines with her credible performance as a tormented yet strong candidate for leader. Tom Paton's thoughtful writing and keen directive eye leaves viewers wondering what could be next, given more resources.
As a big fan of Tom Paton's music videos I was extremely excited to review this film. He doesn't disappoint, this is a great entertaining film with a fantastic score contribution from The Prototypes. Production is top notch. Can't wait for the sequel.
I had the pleasure of attending the world premiere of this film as it was shown at the scifiweekender on the 19th March. There was a good crowd of over 800 people in the arena to watch. The film was introduced by director Tom Paton.
Initial credits came on, and already we were treated to a powerful soundtrack starting. The film opened, and we were taken straight into the story. I won't talk about what happened, or write spoilers, but as per the description, we were introduced to Eiren, Ares and Thade and their quest to become leader of the Varosha tribe.
I'll break my review from here into sections:
This film was shot, as stated, using 20,000 ISO in ultra low light. Technically, I don't understand that personally, however, after speaking with Tom on my podcast, and hearing him on the Q&A, I appreciate what this meant. The film was shot at night, outdoors, over 11 days. No stages or studios. Purely all done outdoors. At night. This could prove problematic with getting ambience right, but the DOP and team perfected it. Not once did I have to squint at the screen to work out what was happening, which I find myself doing now and then on films shot at night. It was perfectly done. The use of a swooping shot over the woods occasionally, to show the expanse of where they were, and the mountains, were executed very well, and at the right timings throughout, and not over-done.
The script was powerful. yet not overly complicated. We were introduced at times to the Varoshan language, which provided comedic moments. The use of this was also limited, and not overdone, so no constant reading of sub-titles, but enough to know these guys were of a different background.
Absolutely blown away by the soundtrack. It was superb. The suspense was kept up, and the music, for which escapes me at this moment, was perfect! It was really powerful, it boomed across the room, and after the premiere, in the Q&A it was one of the many things that people mentioned as being excellent, and questions asked whether it would be released on CD.
This is the one that got me the most. I have come to know the actors through my podcast chat show, and have had them on at various times, so I was keen to watch them in action finally. I was not disappointed, quite the opposite, I actually felt emotional watching them on screen, and for the roles they played. Luke D'Silva commanded his scenes, and showed true power, Adam Bond as Thades, showed the compassionate one, and you really warmed to Thades throughout the film. Jade Hobday as Eiran, in her first role, you could never tell. She dominated the screen with natural presence, and power. The same is said for Laura Howard as Flinn. If I had not previously known, I would not have known this was a first role for her either. Absolutely brilliant job, well done. Bentley Kalu is a man mountain. I can't say anymore, but the guy was so powerful in presence. Marc Zammit as Ares, very well played character, again, like the others, you were drawn in, and he has that screen presence - not all is as it seems
The direction was done extremely well, and full credit to Tom Paton. The film flowed seamlessly and to direct a film over 11 nights, in the dark, in woods, and make it look like it did, takes the work of a talented director, and it worked very well.
Overall I would personally give this a 5 star rating. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I've seen many films of this genre, and not all "grab me". This one did. I felt connected with the cast, and felt with them throughout their journey. I highly recommend that people go and see this film, either at the cinema, or the other media of Bluray, DVD, or VOD all out at the same time. (another UK first)
I was lucky enough to see 'Pandorica' at its world premiere as part of a science fiction convention. I along with the rest of the audience was impressed. Given a very low production budget, what has been achieved by the cast and crew is nothing short of extraordinary. The production values are high throughout with particular highlights being the make up and costuming of the antagonists. The story itself is fairly straight forward but alludes to a far wider universe waiting to be delved into in future projects. The decision by Paton (who writes and directs) is a sensible one as it allows for a focused narrative that is achievable on a low budget without over reaching and falling short. The main focus of the film is on a trio of tribes people who are undergoing a test to determine their next leader. Comparisons to the recent spate of YA films are unavoidable but there is enough in 'Pandorica' for it to stand on its own, most notably that this is a film tonally inspired by the likes of John Carpenter and is therefore emphatically not for the young adult market. The love for 80's cinema is evident also in the costuming, with the 'creature' designs being original, eerily familiar and instantly iconic. The acting is generally excellent as the largely unknown cast inhabit their roles and bring a raw believability to them. The film is fast paced and creates a palpable sense of tension throughout, culminating in a finale that leaves itself open for sequels, but also leaves the audience with the impression that there is a lot more to come from not just the world of 'Pandorica' but also from the behind the scenes crew. Ultimately 'Pandorica' stands as a huge achievement in that it is not only a fast paced exciting adventure in its own right, but proof that with enough ambition and imagination you don't have to spend millions to create a believable world that people want to see more of.