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Film Review: Reboot (2012)

Reboot is a short film written and directed by Joe Kawasaki, and produced by Sidney Sherman. It was actually funded via  Kickstarter which means it was backed by lots of people who wanted to see this idea become a reality.

The film coming in at around 40 minutes of running time is a strange insight into the state of society and the role of technology within it.

It begins by discussing hacking on a radio show, in which the presenter is trying to find out a little more about the world of hackers. The presenter goes as far as outright telling the hackers who he is interviewing that he doesn’t want people like them to have the ability to enter any private sector of his digital life. The topics introduced in this brief radio interview set a basis for the themes running throughout the film.

These themes are not small and really serve to draw in the viewer and make them think long and hard. Lines such as “There are clear injustices and flaws in our world that can be peacefully addressed” portrays hackers in a different light to that of the real world media. It starts to make the viewer aware that both in the film and out, there is a much bigger conflict going on, that we are unable to see, which is the digital conflict between hackers who are acting morally for the greater good, and hackers who are out for self-gain.

Considering the lack of location changes within the film, the camera has been used in an engaging manner. From the beginning, the images that the viewer is presented with poses thoughts of confusion and a sense of problem solving. If anything, the ability to utilise the camera in this manner, given the limitations of a small number of environments, is actually a greater achievement from a creative perspective.

In terms of the acting, the roles heavily rely on a very unique and provoking script, in which the actors really have to portray their lines well or the entire film would falter. The roles are played to a good standard, portraying emotional responses well, although there are some moments in which actors in certain scenes seem a little too calm about the situations at hand.

The strongest point of this film is definitely the script and the platform it creates to bring forward and tackle world events and issues. It’s not just another film about disaster or war, this film tackles food, trade, the internet and humanities potential failure to survive any further naturally. Not only are these huge issues subtly tackled as themes throughout, but alongside these main themes, there is another plot running on a much smaller scale, a microcosm of the bigger issues as it were. Without spoiling the film, this enables the viewer to see the immediate effects of certain issues, only standing to credit the realism of how the issues are actually in-play on a worldwide level – a true measure of writing ability.

My conclusion is that Reboot is a film worth watching. It will appeal to people simply wanting to watch a film with twists and turns, but if anything, that may not do it justice. This is certainly a film of thought and intellect, a piece of social commentary that is almost a statement of society and our issues as a species, and to be honest, I’m rather shocked that so much can be accomplished with only 40 minutes of running time.

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