Keswick Film Club - Reviews - Marjorie Prime

Reviews - Marjorie Prime

Marjorie Prime

Reviewed By Chris Coombes

Marjorie Prime
Marjorie Prime
Primes are holograms with the capability of developing intelligence and some form of compassion. In Marjorie Prime they are introduced as a service that offers companionship and comfort to people who are struggling to remember lost events, lost family members, lost feelings. The primes learn about people's lives and are then able to reflect back to their cared-for clients information about who the clients were, who they related to, what they felt about certain situations.

Some see Marjorie Prime as a science fiction movie. Certainly, it is set in the future and takes a bold look at some of the possibilities for artificial intelligence. However, it is so much more than that. It split the Film Club audience, with some clearly not enjoying it whilst others felt it deserved high scores. It was challenging to watch and yet extremely thought provoking, and since leaving the cinema last night I have heard at least 3 different versions of what the film is about.

Marjorie Prime is very hard to summarise; it is a quiet, slowly unwinding peek at loneliness, failing/fading memory, longing for things to have been different. It explores how we all learn to cope with the past and face the future, and how we deal with things we don’t like about ourselves. It points to how the stories we understand about ourselves and others can vary wildly depending on who is doing the telling, who the listening and how much pain or joy is part of the memory.

Directed by Michael Almereyda, Marjorie Prime has a superb cast including Lois Smith, Geena Davis, Tim Robbins and Jon Hamm – all of whom give brilliantly understated performances that leave the audience having to think for themselves. Sitting through it is a visceral experience that left me feeling confused, fascinated and uncomfortable in equal measure. In other words, a great night out at the cinema!

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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

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