Ren Amari is the driven inventor of a revolutionary new drug. OtherLIfe expands the brain's sense of time and creates virtual reality directly in the user's mind. With OtherLife, mere seconds in real life feel like hours or days of exciting adventures. As Ren and her colleagues race around the clock to launch OtherLife, the government muscles in to use the drugs as a radical solution to prison overcrowding. They will create virtual cells where criminals serve long sentences in just minutes of real time. When Ren resists, she finds herself an unwilling guinea pig trapped in a prison cell in her mind.
Directed by: Ben C. Lucas
. Starring: Jessica De Gouw
, Shalom Brune-Franklin
, Thomas Cocquerel
, T.J. Power
, Liam Graham
, Clarence John Ryan
, Sarah Anjuli
, Hoa Xuande
, Adam T Perkins
, Anna Philp
, Priscilla-Anne Forder
, Rebecca Caldwell
, Maggie Meyer
. Music by: Jed Palmer
It just does not deserve top marks. On the other hand, it's a decent movie that does keep you entertained for a bit over an hour minus quite a few scenes. It does keep going for too long. And the acting is extremely stiff. Basically it wanders all over the place going nowhere.
The concept was clever. Going in and out of the dream world is a super interesting idea that is used in amazing movies like Inception. The "does she dream or not?" is a silly idea though unless you make it well. Because basically it takes you out of the movie. If any scene can be a dream and there is absolutely no logic to it, well then what scenes am I supposed to focus on and what scenes don't matter? This movie does suffer from that effect quite a bit. It's hard to avoid though, and with writers that are not from the top shelf this is not something you just can solve with an easy rewrite. You basically are solving a problem that exists just to ruin a plot. Make it interesting at all times!
The acting was just terrible overall. Not really acceptable in 2017 where great actors are found on every street corner. There are much better lead actresses out there. I know she is very attractive, but she is playing a genius here. Her being attractive or not doesn't matter at all to the plot. Please do a better casting job! Also, the director was just not good. While the actors were flat and emotionless they didn't have many emotion filled scenes to act out here. I know how this goes. A screenwriter sits down and writes something he feels is amazing and deep. I myself feel that about all my work initially. Then a director, who is not a writer, is in over the writting and agrees. They film it and discover that it's not really that deep. It feels very intelligent on paper, but the film reveals quite a few plot holes. But they probably didn't focus on jokes at all because it was supposed to be an Oscar winner. At least add a few jokes, funny scenes or action scenes. Something to bring energy into this emotional drain. Unless you know for a fact the screenplay is amazing you are supposed to add fun to it. Hell, do that anyhow!
Mostly the non-fun factor here comes from the lead actress being cold all throughout the movie. There is zero emotional range here and as she is shown in all scenes the movie really feels boring 25% of the time.
There are a lot of scenes where we just see her walk in or out of glass doors. I get that the director wants to illustrate that she is walking in or out of the hospital, her own apartment building, her work. But when all buildings and doors look the same it's just another boring white wall hallway scene. At least make her live in a house, or make the hospital clearly a hospital. Basically it all feels like she is teleporting all over the place to boring locations. We have a 1 minute scene at the hospital. Then a 1 minute scene at her work. Then a 1 minute scene at the hospital again. Then again a 1 minute scene at... you get the point. And she always just shows the same single emotion in all scenes: depression. She just wanders about. Her life seems so damn boring that it's incredible she somehow finds the will to work. Also, the bad writing shows itself in her dialogue lines. She is supposed to be a programmer genius, but all her lines go like this "We can wake up from coma íf we just try hard enough." That's not genius. That's just a basic teenage girl talking. The writer should have looked up at least some programmer or psychology terms. I never once felt like she was intelligent. I myself need to look up terms all the time when I write. You are not supposed to know this. Just make sure it works at the end.
I'm a huge sucker for sci-fi movies. So of course I did enjoy this overall. But it's just too boring for me to rewatch now that I know the plot. The plot also is not even that good. The ending feels rushed even though the movie feels 20 minutes too long. I didn't even quite understand what this movie was trying to show or tell me. It felt like any scene could appear at any point. There were no clear theme to be found here. This would need a rewrite and a recasting. But one or the other could make it a movie worth recommending. There are much better small budget sci-fi movies out there that feel better written and acted. It's worth watching if you adore sci-fi. But if you skip it you won't really miss much at all.
Review by JurijFedorov from the Internet Movie Database.