About – A scientist goes on a secret expedition, where the laws of nature don’t apply.
Directed by the man who brought us Ex Machina (2014), Alex Garland. He has now brought us his second feature Annihilation. Adapted from the same-titled novel by Jeff VanderMeer. Alex directed and also wrote the screenplay. This adaption is well crafted, leaving you instantly wanting to read the book for comparison. At the end of Ex Machina, we are left with a surprise, some people hated it, but some loved it. Annihilation is no different, you could say that this is Alex’s signature at the end of his films but it’s too early to call after only two.
Annihilation got a U.S cinema release, the lucky ones got to experience this amazing film on the big screen. However, for us U.K people we got a Netflix only release. When the ending credits started to roll, it was a very disappointing moment, not from a films perspective but that we had to experience this on a TV screen.
The score and the cinematography were unbelievable, these two elements are what made us disappointed that this wasn’t on the big screen. However, there is nothing we can do about it now… The collaboration of the score and the cinematography, enhances the experience, which immediately makes us transfix onto everything. The cinematography was beautiful, as you can see from the films stills, the plantation is brightly coloured making it look idyllic and tranquil. The cinematography captures the stunning surroundings from close-ups, to establishing shots, every scene is breath-taking. This is assisted by the spellbinding score.
The community of film, whether that is twitter, critics or film companies are crying out for an independent, strong, intelligent woman as the main protagonist. They have received one here. Lena (Natalie Portman) is the main character that leads the narrative but doesn’t lead the expedition. There is a group of five women that are on this expedition, all having their own story on why they’re on this adventure. Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh) leads the expedition, she is a straight-talking woman that doesn’t take any rubbish from any of the crew. Then there are Josie (Tessa Thompson), Anya (Gina Rodriguez) and Cass (Tuva Novotny), all very strong women but nothing compared to Lena.
The narrative needs to be left unexplained in this review. The narrative is strong and independent to what we are used to in sci-fi movies. If you are a traditionalist for the genre then the film might not be for you, in the sense of Blade Runner is the exact perfect sci-fi film. The narrative is farfetched. However, the issues that Annihilation touches on and the wellbeing of mother nature is something that is very well presented within this film.
Annihilation is and will carry on receiving fan theories on what happens throughout the film, there isn’t a right or wrong ‘theory’. The one thing we can say, is that this movie makes us think. It’s a sci-fi movie with an independent woman as the main protagonist and that’s exactly what we all needed.