“ONE SEED CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING.
After the collapse of Earth’s ecosystem, Vesper, a 13-year-old girl struggling to survive with her paralyzed Father, meets a mysterious Woman with a secret that forces Vesper to use her wits, strength and bio-hacking abilities to fight for the possibility of a future.”
Vesper is a small budget, lo-fi, sci-fi film from last year that seemed to fly under the radar. I don’t recall it getting much, if any, of a push and I didn’t see much chatter about it on social media.
It was made for about $5.5 million dollars and it wears its budget really well. This is a nice looking movie with good production values. The world is rich with lived in texture and various bio-technologies. Vesper doesn’t spend time explaining of the tech, creatures, of the world’s dynamics. It is all implied by simply showing the audience, giving just enough hints for them to extrapolate, or even not offering any explanation at all.
In an early scene Vesper comes home and is shown using a stone pathway, little creatures come out of the ground surrounding the path stones and seem to make an attempt to reach her feet. After she passes they retreat back into the ground. No special emphasis is given to these creatures or their nature and desire. But the implication is that she knows to stay on the path because of the inherent dangers that the Earth presents.
The world of Vesper consists of wasteland areas where danger lurks and scavengers forage and trade. There are Citadels where some sort of upper class lives. We never spend any time in the Citadels, don’t even get a glimpse of the exterior until the end. What we glean about them comes from hints and pieces of dialog. Our biggest insight into the Citadels comes from the relationship that Vesper develops with the stranded Citadel woman.
One of the other rich traits of this world is the bio-technology. Luminescent plants, insides of robot drones that are moist and fleshy, scientific equipment that appears to have organic qualities. Was this stuff developed, or did it evolve, if these things are in the wastelands what things are in the Citadels?
Vesper’s uncle is the antagonist of the story played wonderfully by Eddie Marsen. He’s creepy, he’s lecherous, and can’t be trusted at all.
Vesper was filmed on location in Lithuania with CGI only used as a supplemental tool. The world is filled with bogs and marshes and fog and goes a long way in helping the look of the film.
One brief thought I had was that with the young woman heroine, the environmental themes, and the creature and tech filled world Vesper is a little reminiscent of a live action Miyazaki film.
Streaming information for Vesper can be found at Just Watch