Set after the collapse of the Earth’s ecosystem, VESPER follows the titular headstrong 13-year-old girl (Raffiella Chapman), who uses her survival skills to subsist in the remnants of a strange and dangerous world with her ailing father, Darius (Richard Brake). When Vesper finds a mysterious woman, Camellia (Rosy McEwen), alone and disoriented after an aerial crash, she agrees to help find her missing companion in exchange for safe passage to the Citadel, – the dark central hub where oligarchs live in comfort thanks to state-of-the-art biotechnology. Vesper soon discovers that her brutal neighbor, Jonas (Eddie Marsan), is searching for Camellia, who is harboring a secret that could change all of their lives forever. Forced into a dangerous adventure, Vesper must rely on her wits and bio-hacking abilities to unlock the key to an alternate future.
What We Thought:
For a film I knew nothing about going into it, I liked Vesper. It’s nothing overly original or groundbreaking, but it’s watchable and very timely. After the past few years of viruses and government control, the film feels less like science fiction and more like a possible future.
I’m always a sucker for a post-apocalyptic story. I always like to see what others think will be our future if we don’t change our ways. With Vesper, it feels possible. With the scare mongering over climate change, food shortages, rich vs. poor and viral outbreaks, this one is definitely possible. There are different groups of people, the rich in the Citadels, the poor just trying to survive, pilgrims who don’t speak, but salvage metal and lots of others. Vesper lives with her father who can’t get out of bed and relies on technology to breath and communicates through a drone. She does her best to keep things going.
It’s the young actress who plays Vesper that makes the movie watchable. She holds your attention throughout and you believe all her actions. She’s doing what she thinks she needs to do whether it’s stealing some seeds or lying to the woman who she helps after a crash. The actress is very believable and makes for a good post-apocalypse lead.
The environment also works. I’m not sure where it was shot, but I’m thinking somewhere in Europe. The production design and environment looks worn down and poor. You understand how they live off the land and struggle mightily because of it. It’s not space sci-fi, it’s realistic looking with future tech these different types of people would have.
I know Richard Brake and Eddie Marsan, but I’m not familiar with the rest of the cast. They are both good as is the lead actress as previously stated. It’s that performance, the story and production design that makes Vesper watchable. If you like potentially realistic sci-fi, you should probably enjoy it.