Clone (UK - DVD R2)
Our Marcus takes a look at Matt Smith's clone movie with Eva Green on DVD...
Rebecca (Eva Green) and Tommy (Matt Smith) first met when they were children and formed an instant connection. Meeting up again when they are older, the couple fall in love and get together but when Tommy is killed in an accident, Rebecca's grief gives her the strength to make the bold decision to bring Tommy back as a clone, giving birth to him and raising him as her own son. As Tommy gets older and the pair's bond begins to grow again, the questions of why Rebecca had this clone created are raised and the relationship between mother and son begins to blur.
The silent credits and the eerie soft entry into the film sets the mood for Clone (also called Womb in other territories). Director Benedek Fliegauf lets the film's largely silent scenes play out and isn't afraid to let moments linger. The first act with the young versions of our lead characters coming of age as they spend all their time together captures a deeper childhood connection than a lot of film's muster making the love story here feel much stronger than I expected.
When Eva Green and Matt Smith arrive as older versions of the characters, you immediately feel the chemistry between the pair. It's played as if they are fascinated with each other, like they know where their relationship is headed but are still those children that aren't quite sure how to act upon it. But when they do Matt Smith comes to life in all his Doctor Who quirky glory.
The accident that takes Matt Smith away from the equation is subtle but has an impact in its simplicity. I'm not 100% sure that where this takes the story after that is totally convincing but given the almost fairytale connection the couple have together it’s easy to go with.
The introduction of the science fiction element (pretty much science fact at this point) and the notion of cloning Rebecca's dead lover in order to bring him back is the backbone of what makes or indeed breaks the draw of this film. There's a distinctly awkward feel to this relationship and it raises an oddness where you’re not exactly sure what Rebecca wants from this situation and it continues to get weirder. Plus there are the questions raised about bringing family members back from the dead in society with terms like 'artificial incest' being thrown around when we find out people give birth to clone versions of their own mothers.
The slowness and the cold tone of the tale worked for me and getting glimmers of the outside world and the feelings towards clones added a bit more to the story beyond the central 'clone your dead lover' premise. This film certainly deserves to find a larger audience and no doubt the same themes will be tackled in a more mainstream friendly film further down the line given the ever growing concerns around the subject of cloning but for now Clone proved to be another fine choice for Eva Green, who I am finally beginning to warm to as an actress and a great showcase of Matt Smith's capabilities. I for one love science fiction tackled in this real world way and Clone managed to pull it off with a fine combination of human drama and moral questions as well as a very awkward central relationship.
The dark early morning beach front opener is grainy and soft but the close up on Eva Green's face looks much better. That’s generally how the rest of the film plays out with wider shots looking a bit undefined and tighter ones reigning it all back in for better results.
Grey and overcast with deeper red scarf’s or blue skies breaking the mundane and offering up a nice juxtaposition. When we return with an older Rebecca, skin tones get pinker and blue eyes begin to glow. Freckles and facial textures look pretty good but there's still a noticeable softness to the image. The greyness still sticks around but the orange and teals of modern filmmaking sneak in to add some colour albeit still some relatively cold ones.
The film is largely quiet with dialogue offering up the only sound. The biggest atmospheric is generally the crashing waves as the couple sit on the beach and talk. There's the odd bit of ambience to fill out scenes, like crackling fire places or small signs of village life and the score is sparsely used, largely for the emotional peaks of the story but make no mistake, Clone is a quiet flick and relies on its silence to build the mood.
The disc opens with a trailer for Eva Green's other science fiction movie Perfect Sense then in the extras menu we're on to 'Inside Clone' (21:48) a making of as abstract and thoughtfully put together as the film itself. The only other extra is the film's trailer (01:37).
Clone is a well constructed, steadily handled science fiction love story that ventures into many of the ethical questions around cloning and the effects they may have in everyday life if the reason for copying a person were to fill a void left by a deceased loved one. Director Benedek Fliegau retains a balance of all the elements and still manages to keep the almost fairy tale feel to everything. The disc looks okay for DVD and has a subtle and fairly quiet audio presentation but given the strength of the film and the good making of featurette, this is a pretty good package.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 7th May 2012
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Stereo 2.0 English
Extras: Inside Clone, Trailer
Easter Egg: No
Director: Benedek Fliegauf
Cast: Eva Green, Matt Smith
Genre: Drama and Sci-Fi
Length: 107 minutes
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