Punching way above its weight, Vesper is a well-crafted little post-apocalyptic movie. Once again we will be following a young girl and her father as they try to survive in this inhospitable environment. If I see another post-apocalyptic movie with this type of story, I’m gonna… Well, I’ll probably check it out, to be honest. But stop it as soon as it starts getting boring and melodramatic. Cargo, starring Martin Freeman was one of my victims, so you better watch out. I think this whole trend started with one of the most fucked up movies in the subgenre, The Road.
Moving on, things in Vesper are not as dreary as you would imagine from the trailer. There are all kinds of cool and creative special effects bringing to life exotic plants that can kill you in mere seconds. These scenes look absolutely stunning and each new scene was better than the last. In this sense, the movie reminded me of Love and Monsters, offering a more vibrant post-apocalyptic setting. Unlike the one, we’re going to be seeing here. Shot in Vilnius, Lithuania, it looks authentic and realistic, like we’re actually seeing into the future.
Just think of Pripyat, the abandoned city near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. I’m sure you’ve all seen HBO’s masterpiece exploring the tragic events surrounding the accident. When it comes to this movie, I wish it had a stronger narrative. There were a lot of themes explored but none of them fully. I kept waiting for those scenes set inside the Citadel but they never came. And I know why. The small budget simply didn’t allow for such a thing so I get it.
And just one more thing. I know I’m nitpicking but exactly because everything looked so good, I found it odd that Vesper’s hair is always clean and puffy. Like she just came out of the Head and Shoulders commercial. I know just how much effort Kristina Buozyte, Brian Clark, and Bruno Samper put into this movie so these things were difficult to mention. But I hope it will help them in their next projects. Projects I can’t wait to see.
Vesper is a young girl living in a harsh and unforgiving world of the future. After humans destroyed the environment, the elites retreated to luxurious cities while the rest of us was left in the wild. The wild that’s full of mutated plants, poisons, and little hope for survival. Not only Vesper must figure out how to survive in this world but she also must take care of her gravely ill father. However, one day, all of that is going to change.
While I was ready for the gloomy setting, I was not ready for Vesper’s father Darius, played by Richard Brake. With his lungs out of his body that laid immobile on a crappy bed in a decaying house, you had this feeling of death creeping up on you. Those scenes were graphic and quite visceral and I applaud the balls and ovaries of our young filmmakers for their willingness to go the distance.
Young Raffiella Chapman was excellent as Vesper along with Eddie Marsan who’s probably the only face you’re going to recognize here. If you’re looking for something similar I recommend you check out The Colony AKA Tides .
Directors: Kristina Buozyte, Bruno Samper
Writers: Kristina Buozyte, Brian Clark, Bruno Samper
Cast: Raffiella Chapman, Eddie Marsan, Rosy McEwen, Richard Brake, Edmund Dehn
Fun Facts: Cinematographer Feliksas Abrukauskas was inspired by painting from Vermeer and Rembrandt for the light.