Realive is a film brought to life by Mateo Gil, the mind behind Open your Eyes, the film which inspired Vanilla Sky. That knowledge should put you onto the right track with the sort of topics that Realive covers. Our story starts in 2015 as mid-thirties artist Marc (Tom Hughes), after being diagnosed with cancer, decides he’s not quite ready for his life to come to an end. In an attempt at securing a better future he decides to get himself cryogenically frozen.
Sixty years later he finds himself revived, the first re-animated human. So that this future race of humans can better understand him, he is given a new technology that enables him to record his memories. As Marc downloads his life for his saviours he begins to realise that this world might not be for him.
The story feels at times like a feature-length Black Mirror, but much like the show, it goes to some unexpected places.
Those expecting an action-packed science-fiction movie should bypass this one as Realive is more of a philosophical film. It shines the spotlight on man’s inability to accept death and our nature to do anything and all we can to achieve that mythic immortality. It offers the age old question of – if you could live forever, would you?
Marc is revived by a team of scientists who for once aren’t ‘mad’. That’s not to say that they don’t make some questionable decisions, but at least our head doctor isn’t cackling manically the entire way through. The science seems sound and tangible, if not set a little early. The future also seems plausible, there’s no flying cars, just advanced medical equipment and the memory recording headset. Where the future-scape fails is in it’s portrayal of the human race. Apparently we’ve forgone the notion of love and just have sex with whomever, using pills to create desire instead. It’s a concept that isn’t too out there, but sixty years isn’t that far away. The idea would sit better if the story was set further ahead in time.
Despite being about a resurrected man in the future, the story focuses more on Marc’s past. Skipping back and forth through time we find out about the life that Marc left behind. The heart of the story is the relationship of Marc and Naomi (Oona Chaplin). They’re a pair of close friends with occasional benefits that never seem ready to commit to each other at the same time. It’s a classic story that in itself could easily make a compelling film.
Visually the film is very typically science fiction futuristic, white and clean. Lit with blue, white and red hues the future has the aesthetics that you would expect from a private hospital of the future.
It holds a mirror up to all that watch and challenges you to think whether you would take the same actions as Marc. A film that deals with love, loneliness and mortality, Realive is a bittersweet science-fiction tale that will engage your brain whilst pulling on those heartstrings. Bold, cerebral and simply incredibly powerful.