A modern day fantasy has been in order, and Border could be the answer – for now. Co-writer/director Ali Abbasi provides audiences with a cogent story that doubles as an allegory on minorities and treats its fantastical characters humanely. It’s what Bright aspired to be.
Mind you, Bright was for the masses – a flawed film that felt it had to swing low in order to connect with more people. Border, on the other hand, isn’t afraid to repel people away in order to make its point. It’s disturbing and strange, but also driven with heart and soul.
Customs officer Tina (Eva Melander) has a special sense that enables her to – literally – sniff people out. It’s a trait that gets the attention of local authorities who request her help after she makes an upsetting discovery while on duty. During the investigation, she meets Vore (Eero Milonoff). Vore has a striking resemblance to Tina’s unusual physicality, which gives them an immediate connection. Tina has been unclear of her own origins, which compels her towards Vore. Vore, a bit more understanding of who he is, has an equal attraction to Tina.
Border is a brassy, unforgettable creation of thriller components, body horror, and coming-of-age romance. Oddly enough, the story works itself into a familiar formula to steer the movie, but its narrative is still unpredictable. For instance, movie goers may have an idea of how Vore and Tina’s relationship will result, but there’s still fascination to be had in the discoveries these characters make; especially regarding “who” they are and “how” they react to new experiences.
The film juggles plot points well despite a poorly disguised failsafe crime arc that acts as a cushion if the film, so happens, to collapse from its own ambition. But, all in all, Ali Abbasi ties everything together – an impressive feat considering his film’s bold appetite.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie