Arcadia…by definition means an image or an idea of life in the country side which is believed to be perfect, Arcadia, in the sense of this film means a place where the rich and heathy thrive while those on the outside die.
Director Tom Large throw’s us into a world of politics, suspense and family ties, a place where we as the viewer are always kept just on the outskirts of the desired utopia.
The film follows Charlie, a man on the outside, working with the government in order to secure a place for him and his family inside the walls in exchange for his services.
He is called upon to transport a wanted man, a part of the government resilience who believe that the higher powers are trying to make the population sick in order for them to fight for a place in Arcadia.
Arcadia is in a sense an Orwellian sci fi thriller, where we see the inevitable problems that can arise from the ever-growing population crisis, we are taken on a journey which often plays on current events, drawing from the ‘’Anonymous’’ movement, to the privatisation of the national health care.
We simply can relate to the issues being played out on the screen, which of course makes for a compelling watch.
The movie is low budget, which can make problems when working the sci fi angle, yet Tom Large finds the perfect balance, houses and landscapes are the same, technology is advanced enough that it is all controlled by voice activation [smart money saving move Tom!], and as well, we never actually see inside Arcadia, making the audience be able to relate to the characters so much more, we too see it as an unobtainable utopia, a party that we are just not cool enough to be invited to, and of course rejection breeds obsession.
Lacking in visual stimulation Arcadia brings it home with excellent performances from the whole cast, our lead Charlie, played by Marc Baylis, is a troubled and tormented man who has become
driven by his desire to protect his family by doing anything to secure a place in Arcadia, and despite the minimal dialogue his performance allows us to empathise with his desperation as well as loss.
Arcadia throws up a whole mixed bag of emotions and drive, easy to state that this is not a ‘’casual’’ watch as it demands your full attention throughout in order to stay abreast of the plot, and although the story has been played out before in other forms, it still stands strong as a thought provoking, sci fi thriller which earns its place in British sci fil cinema.