Written and Directed by Tom Patton
Set in the future, three young members of the Varosha Tribe are selected to take part in a trial by their leader Nus to decide who should take over as leader. Whilst in the forest of the old world, they meet a young woman clutching a box who’s fleeing for her life from “Gods” who wish to reclaim the box, an object which she intends on destroying. The tribal trio must decide whether or not to help the young woman but will their ego to become the next leader overshadow their choice?
Sci-Fi PANDORICA follows Eiren, Ares and Thade as they tackle their trial in a mysterious woods where only one will emerge alive as the new leader of their Varosha tribe. Whilst I was expecting some testing trials to put the three against one another, what we have is a conflict of choices and personal ethics. I must say I was a bit disappointed as I would have loved their trial to have been a physical one but the trio must use their brains in an attempt to become the new leader whilst having to occasionally use their brawn when some outsiders venture into the middle of their trial.
PANDORICA struggles with pacing problems and a weak narrative. The main issue is that there’s not really much for the characters to do except argue over a box of which is really irrelevant. What is inside the box is more important and seems to be what everyone desires. Basing an entire movie around it though, especially focusing on how the tribespeople decide to cope with the situation they find themselves in with the box, is a bore to watch. It’s plain as day from the posters and the opening scenes who will be victorious come the end of the trial as the back and forth bickering between the two waring tribespeople quickly becomes repetitive and expected.
What I will say works well for the movie is the cinematography, location and costume design. Despite being filmed mostly in darkness, PANDORICA isn’t a struggle to watch in visual terms. It’s easy to see the characters and what they’re doing which is important when trying to tell a story. The costumes the characters wear are believable and fit the look of what one would imagine an isolated tribe would resemble, with the characters wearing furs and the like. The woodland location adds a fascinating sense of mystery to the movie though I feel it could have been used better if the film had focused on physical trials rather cat and mouse and mental ones.
From a visual filmmaking point of view, PANDORICA shows promise but from an entertainment viewpoint, the story and characters are just too dull to care about.