RADIUS (2017)

Radius is a 2017 Sci-Fi psychological thriller driven by memory loss and the ability to instantly kill anyone within 50 feet. It is a little bit Mulholland Dr. meets Hancock. Liam and Jane are drawn together through mutual desire to figure out what happened to them, who they were, and if they can ever be that person again or if they will even want to.  It is a Canadian production filmed in Winnipeg with husband and wife writing and directing team, Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard, starring Diego Klattenhoff and Charlotte Sullivan (all originally from Canada).
Between the sci-fi elements and the twist ending, there are many themes being explored in this film. Does loyalty to someone else or to society outweigh the loyalty you should have to yourself? What would you do if something about you kept everyone else at a distance? You could talk on the phone or shout at each other but you won’t share a physically intimate moment with another person for the rest of your life. Then there is the age-old question of nature versus nurture. Are we who we are because of our experience or is it engraved in our DNA? Could amnesia be a reset button, a chance to do things differently or be a better person?
The film may not have had a large budget, but they used what they had very well. They didn’t cast movie stars but instead went with two very good and known televisions actors. Diego Klattenhoff has been in Homeland and all 96 episodes of Blacklist. Charlotte Sullivan has recently been in Rookie Blue and Chicago Fire. She has been working consistently since 1995, and you can’t help but love someone who was once on Are You Afraid of the Dark. They are both very strong throughout the film, with just a few moments were the intensity fell a little flat, which is not surprising given the subject matter and a demanding shooting schedule. The special effects in the film were not overly impressive in their scope or scale, but were consistently well done. Maybe they would have done something grander if the budget allowed, but it wouldn’t have been necessary.
If they had extra money, I would want them to use it to extend the shooting schedule and the run time. Give the actors a break so they can bring it 100% of the time and dive deeper into the themes of the film. The weakest part of the movie for me is the abundance of themes going on. They either needed to make the film longer or cut one or two elements from the movie. With a running time of just 87 minutes, the movie is over quickly, but that doesn’t mean you are going to stop thinking about it. Would nature win out or would new experiences make a new man? Would Jane give up her old life to protect everyone and give Liam a shot at a normal life? Would Liam lock himself away in the middle of nowhere to protect Jane and everyone else and suffer a solitary existence? This movie gets a recommend from me because of its unique story line and the thought provoking themes it contains. The time constraints limit the movie’s success, but it is entertaining, and if you watching it with someone, you can have some great conversations, and I don’t think you could ask for much better than that. 

BY James Lindorf

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