REALIVE Synopsis: Marc (Tom Hughes) is diagnosed with a disease and is given one year left to live. Unable to accept his own end, he decides to freeze his body. Sixty years later, in the year 2084, he becomes the first man to be revived in history. It is then he discovers that the love of his life, Naomi (Oona Chaplin), has accompanied him this entire time in a way that he’d never expected.
Tagline: Immortality is only a matter of time.
Release Date: September 29th, 2017 | Runtime: 1 hour 52 Minutes | Coolthulhus Earned: 5
REALIVE was thought-provoking, deeply moving, and delicately handles sensitive subjects with a deftness one doesn’t typically expect from a Syfy film. I was hooked basically from the very beginning. The conversation between the doctor and Marc/Lazarus was so very well done. It was grave and serious without being overly dramatic. I like how the guy asks “Why?” and the doctor is just kind of flatly states “It’s cancer.” Not to be morbid, but that was probably one of my favorite scenes in the movie. The expression on the doctor’s face says so much even as he just says “It’s cancer.” Actually, the whole way they portray Marc dealing with this diagnosis in the beginning all feels very real and true as well. Enough so that it put a hitch in my throat watching it.
The cinematography in REALIVE was nice. The movie is filmed in two timelines. Before re-animation and after re-animation. The ‘before’ is done in soft, warm colors with movement and laughter and light. The ‘after’ in cold blues and sharp lines. The facility in the future is conveyed as state of the art and, er, ‘futuristic’ without being over the top. Its crisp, stark, and rather effective even without a bunch of wires and monitoring equipment everywhere.
To be honest, I had no real desire to watch REALIVE. From the stills and the trailer, I thought ‘eh, not my type of movie’ and didn’t give it a second thought. But then I was offered a chance to do an interview with one of the actors, so I decided to give it a go. REALIVE really isn’t my type of movie. I prefer blood, guts, and shoot-em-ups. Spaceships, aliens, and planetary exploration. I don’t do feels or thought-provoking flicks as a general rule of thumb. I appreciate that they’re around for the people who like ’em, but they just don’t get my motor running. This is, I thought as I was starting it up, the type of movie where I’m going to end up picking a book up halfway through it. Sweet baby Cthulhu, I was wrong.
One of my favorite things about the movie was how it handled the subject of cryogenics and reanimation. This isn’t one of those movies where it’s like “Yes, you are alive again and everything is perfect” It was one that actually looked seriously at how reanimation would actually work. While I don’t want to give anything away, let’s just say that this is the most believable approach to reviving someone from cryostasis that I’ve ever read or seen. From the actual reanimation itself to the body’s adjustments afterwards.
The love story is also well-handled in REALIVE. It isn’t typical, and it isn’t super-mushy. It’s got an element of star-crossed lovers to it, but not quite that bad. It was there, but it wasn’t what the story was all about (to me, at least.)
The ending of the movie was deftly handled as well. It was one of those deals where you were pretty sure you knew how things were going to end up once you were past the halfway point, but you still couldn’t look away.
Overall, REALIVE was a fantastically done movie. It put tears in my eyes. That’s a fairly difficult thing to do. From the script to the editing, there’s very little I would have changed. (Literally, there’s like one scene involving two of the doctors that was a bit much. That’s it.) I’m happy that I decided to watch it, and definitely highly recommend it to all my fellow sci-fi lovers out there.