By Dave B.
In most respects Otherlife (2017, currently on Netflix) is your standard movie about the potential perils of virtual reality technology. In the film, nanotechnology is used to alter brain chemistry to create a mental experience, such as a snowboarding trip, that lasts only a day. As is typical in these types of cautionary tales, the technology is glitchy, money is the primary motivation for the antagonist to seek to use the technology for dubious purposes, and the protagonist is long on good intentions and short on common sense. What sets Otherlife apart however, is its stylish visuals.
Decent performances and an unexceptional script don’t hurt Otherlife as much as they would other movies in this genre because director Ben C. Lucas does a masterful job of channeling the essence of the film's techno-cautionary plot into exquisite visual details. There aren’t any bad camera angle decisions. The CGI is crisp and tasteful. Even the lighting manages to strike the right emotional chord in every scene. With a slightly bigger budget and a moderately more innovative script, this movie could have been something special.
Overall, Otherlife is a decent science-fiction cautionary tale that is very visually engaging. I wouldn’t suggest watching this movie if you’re in the mood for something that will completely blow you away or change the way that you look at the world. But the performances and the script are decent enough that they don’t detract from the excellent artistry of the film. I recommend this movie, especially if you’re interested in seeing how a talented director can make visual magic with a limited budget.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.