Since I started doing screenwriting, I’ve found myself picking apart certain movies. If I do, they have to either be really boring, or so good I wonder where that person thought about certain scenes and give mad props. Most recently, my husband and I were able to watch Annilation without any interruptions from the three children sleeping upstairs. As a parent, that is very rare. Anyways, this movie had been on my “to watch” list for a while now and finally we found it on some expensive movie channel for “free” and tucked in with our adult beverages and watched.
I will say, it’s a slow movie, but it in no way takes away from the impact of the story. In fact, if it went any faster, I probably would have been disappointed. Lena, Natalie Portman’s character, is forcefully enlisted to take on a reconnaissance mission with four other women, of various backgrounds, following the mysterious and unexpected return of her husband. After a year MIA from a top secret (not so much anymore) mission, her husband, Kane, returns and in the same hour, or so it seemed, has major organ failure, after which a government research facility takes her into custody. It didn’t seem like they had to do too much convincing for her to accept and go along without a fight. She wanted to know what had happened to her husband, and all the other multiple people who has gone into this massively growing cloud they call The Shimmer. On this expedition the women find multiple plants and animals with altered DNA. Later on, they discover that their own DNA is being effected as well. It makes some of them a little batty. A couple of them die, not telling who, this isn’t a Cliff Notes of that. You want that, you can do what I did and read Wikipedia, true story. If you’re paying close attention, you can see how Lena changes through the story as well. They were only in The Shimmer for a few days but subtle changes begin to occur if you’re watching. It gave me shivers, kept me glued and the ending blew my mind. No joke. At the beginning, there’s a scene where Lena and Kane are talking about the moon, God and growing old. He’s religious, she’s a scientist. She doesn’t necessarily say God doesn’t exist, she just doesn’t give him credit for some things. I thought for sure this movie would end with a religious message. After it was all over, credits are rolling. I came to the conclusion, without picking the brain of the original writer of the story, that I wasn’t half wrong. I don’t want to discuss it any further in case anyone reading hasn’t watched it. If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so. Go! Go now and turn off the phone and watch it start to finish. Then come back and tell me what your theory is, or if you feel it’s just a story.
I am genuinely curious what some people felt about this story, even if it was just that it was a good story and didn’t find any hidden message.