Science has failed and an operation to harness energy from the sun has resulted in disaster. With the light from the sun now gone, humanity attempts to reverse the damage before the world freezes completely. Here is our review of Infinitus.
Infinitus is an ambitious little short film that tells the story of mankind’s seemingly unending drive for energy, through the eyes of a lone female scientist and astronaut. The film opens by telling us that, some-time in the future, new technology allowed the nearest stars to be harvested for fuel. Due to the desire for instant success, mankind attempted to harness the power of its greatest star first, the sun and it was this meddling that caused irreversible damage to the sun’s core. The sun did not reignite, the sunlight eventually faded and the surface of the Earth began to freeze.
As we join the film, what remains of human life now exists deep underground close to the warmth from the earth’s core in what are called geothermal bunkers and they spend all of their remaining time trying to create an artificial star. It is the name of this project that gives the short it’s title Infinitus.
When it comes to Sci-Fi, it still remains one of the major film genres that continuously borrows from itself and those that went before and Infinitus is no exception. With its sole female lead, we automatically think back to Ridley Scott’s Alien, the model and effects work reminds us of Kubrick’s 2001, the confined environment is similar to Cuaron’s Gravity while the slow pace is reminiscent of Tarkovsky’s Solaris.
Infinitus needs science fiction to supply the premise and the spacecraft that focuses the action but it is essentially a psychological drama. Yes, it is another dystopian future that harkens back to other films and yes it is dark, gritty and disturbing. Yet what makes Infinitus stand out from the rest and retain its own unique identity is that in the end, it is all about hope and the strength of one person who, to do the right thing, has to make a life-changing decision.
Chelsea Murphy as Rachel is a strong presence throughout the 10-minute run time; channelling both Sigourney Weaver and Sandra Bullock with her plucky performance. She is supported ably by the voice of Paul D Morgan who manages to convey the gravitas of the situation with his dialogue and voice-over work.
Despite the initial premise being an excellent idea and well written by Cameron Currin, he has obviously had to contend with understandable budget constraints. Although this aspect can’t be helped, it is a huge shame, because being able to see more of the world that we are inhabiting and more about Rachel’s background and character would have led to us being more invested in her actions.
However, it is these minor details that suggest this short has feature film written all over it, because a feature would give Currin and his team more time to investigate each avenue fully and allow the audience to learn more about this universe, therefore, enabling us to care more about the fates and outcomes of everyone involved.
The special effects and model work are very impressive, with cinematographer Andrew Dryer using dark and dismal colours to emphasise a sombre and somewhat grieving tone to the short. The outside world is suitably cold and foreboding while the shots of space with its panoramas of starbursts and space warps being particularly impressive.
For all its stunning exteriors, Infinitus is mostly concerned with its emotional interiors and director Currin goes about exploring them with simplicity and directness in his close-ups. By letting the actors faces and voices carry the burden of meaning Infinitus becomes not just a Sci-Fi film but a film about what happens to morality in the aftermath of a catastrophe.