‘Possessor’ Sundance Movie Review: ‘Avatar’ By Way of ‘A History of Violence’

by Jeremy Spirogis
‘Possessor’ Sundance Movie Review: ‘Avatar’ By Way of ‘A History of Violence’

James Cameron has left Avatar followers hanging for 10 years, and it’s nonetheless going to be Dec. 17, 2021 earlier than Avatar 2 comes out. Young Avatar followers have change into adults in that point, so now they’re sufficiently old to see a extra grown-up exploration of utilizing avatars. Possessor is like Avatar by the use of A History of Violence

Andrea Riseborough | Karim Hussain/Sundance Institute

Hopefully author/director Brandon Cronenberg doesn’t thoughts the reference to his father’s film. Possessor is a lot authentic because it dabbles in acquainted parts in new and distinctive methods. 

‘Possessor’ respects the viewer’s intelligence

Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) is an murderer however her methodology is the stuff of Philip Okay. Dick. Through a expertise, she will possess one other physique to commit the homicide. The physique she makes use of doesn’t make it out of the mission both, however as soon as the job is finished it doesn’t actually matter to Tasya. 

Possessor simply drops the viewer proper into Tasya’s world after which into her mission with little clarification. However, that is 2020 and moviegoers must be acquainted with ideas like The Matrix, Ready Player One or Avatar. Whether you’re plugged right into a cyber world or a real-world physique, it’s a part of our world now. People do it on social media daily.

Avatar goes low-tech in PossessorAvatar goes low-tech in Possessor
Andrea Riseborough | Karim Hussain/Sundance Institute

There’s a protocol that’s been a well-oiled machine for a while, in order that they don’t have to clarify the way it works. Tasya wouldn’t clarify her job at this level. The viewer will get the sense from these veteran possessors that this can be a plausible operation. You see the toll it takes on their our bodies and minds too, together with Tasya’s boss Girder (Jennifer Jason Leigh). 

It’s additionally outstanding that Riseborough basically shares her character with different actors however the movie by no means loses monitor of Tasya. It’s all the time her, irrespective of who she’s possessing. 

‘Possessor’ will get deep

Then there are ranges inside ranges of digital actuality. So Tasya possesses Colin (Christopher Abbott). She drops into his life and the individuals round Colin don’t convey her up to the mark as a result of they assume that is simply the Colin they’ve all the time recognized. The viewers has to meet up with Tasya. 

Christopher Abbott in PossessorChristopher Abbott in Possessor
Christopher Abbott | Karim Hussain/Sundance Institute

Colin occurs to work in a digital actuality job too. So inside her possession, Tasya has to determine Colin’s job too to take care of her cowl. It’s sophisticated, however subtle viewers can sustain, or a minimum of faux it as a lot as Tasya fakes it to get by. 

Virtual actuality tales like The Matrix, Total Recall or Inception all the time ask provocative questions whether or not their equipment is cyber, reminiscence or desires. The query turns into: what’s actuality actually? Possessor takes that to a harrowing degree as a result of Tasya is possessing individuals in the identical world, not coming into a brand new world in a pc or inside herself. By the tip, realities blur however you may comply with all of it as one linear story.

All bloody hell breaks free

There is motion and violence in Possessor however it’s deliberately not a giant scale motion film like many of the Hollywood films that discover digital actuality premises. Killing is Tasya’s line of labor and each killing is excessively graphic for impact, similar to A History of Violence was. It’s thrilling however not glamorizing it. 

Possessor | Karim Hussain/Sundance Institute

Possessor opens with a really bloody killing to ascertain Tasya’s world. That’s solely the appetizer although. By the time she reaches the climax of her mission as Colin, she finds all kinds of latest methods to kill. 

Possessor can afford to be edgier than the Hollywood model of a technological thriller as a result of it doesn’t need to reply to the 4 quadrants. For followers of cyber/identification sci-fi on the lookout for one thing a lot harder-edged that actually goes there, Possessor can be value ready for after its Sundance premiere.

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