Director: Lucile Hadžihalilović
Starring: Max Brebant, Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier
Running Time: 81mins
Lucile Hadžihalilović has crafted a film in Evolution which is hard to categorise. Part sci-fi, part horror, part coming of age and all wrapped up with an arthouse feel. That being said, this film is extremely well made, the cinematography is stunning and the telling of the story is intriguing, persuading you to persist with some of the slower moments throughout. Filming on Lanzarote with it’s volcanic black sands adds to the eerie sense that this is a place that isn’t quite in step with the rest of the world. Throughout the film there are hints and images which enforce this notion, something not quite being right, something off-kilter and this affects how you think about it.
Beginning with some astounding underwater shots of the sea and sea life we eventually meet Nicolas as he is swimming in the sea whereupon he catches sight of what he thinks of as a drowned boy with a starfish attached. As shocking as this is Nicolas is initially unaffected but it sets in motion a chain of events leading to him starting to question everything that happens on thier little island.
They are a small community but the most striking thing is the absence of grown men or young girls. All the children are boys and there are have only their mothers to look after them. And the manner that they are looked after is also a bit strange; feeding them with a strange looking goop and providing them with medicine to take every day.
With Nicolas starting to question his existence he also begins to search for answers such as where do the women go at night time and why and where are some boys taken to? However, instead of getting straight forward answers we are posed more questions and this leads to an ongoing intruige into what this small community is doing and how they are living their lives and why it doesn’t make sense to Nicolas.
There is a definite aesthetic applied to this film and it carries on throughout giving an unearthly or otherworldly feel to proceedings, repeating symbolism adds to the hints of what the film is trying to convey, trying to explore. Water plays a large part of the film, by being on an island but also in their daily lives and again is carried throughout the film.
Evolution is a strange film, undoubtedly it has been produced well and a lot of care and attention has been placed into the making of this and it is well worth a watch. And if you can make out what is happening then all the better!