Sunday, January 27 2013, 11:09 AM MST
Sundance Review: Upstream Color
4 out of 5 Stars
Directors: Shane Carruth
Starring: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig and Thiago Martins
Category: U.S. Dramatic
Recommended to: Fans of experimental cinema in the vein of The Tree of Life.
Kris is the latest victim of a thief who uses a powerful drug to temporarily reprogram his targets to willingly give him access to their finances. The drug has a lasting side effect that connects those that have taken it in an almost unperceivable way.
Share Carruth impressed audiences with his debut film, 2004s Primer, and returns 9 years later with an equally beguiling follow up. Upstream Color is a hauntingly cerebral sci-fi romance about love as two characters are drawn together by a force they do not understand. It is rife with gorgeous cinematography reminiscent of Emmanuel Lubezkis work for Terrence Malicks The Tree of Life. Where Malicks film took audiences into space in search of mankinds origin, Carruths film goes beneath the skin to follow the hypnotic drug (which is somehow carried by a caterpillar) through the victims bloodstream.
Upstream Color is the sort of film that implies more than it explains. It is a puzzle that forces audiences to be engaged and be active participants, rather than passive ones. If youre willing to embark on the journey and see it through to its end you will be rewarded. If you looking to tune out youd be better off watching something less ambitious.
-Ryan Michael Painter
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcast Group)