A disturbing simulation of adult life in the suburbs – version for beginners
Gemma and Tom are a young and loving couple. They are about to take their first important step towards adult life. Before starting a family, they have to find a place of their own to build a cozy little nest. They go to an estate agency and are offered a chance to visit a newly built housing estate. The houses don’t really conform to any modern design. Instead the whole estate resembles a children’s fantasy about life in the suburbs. Rows of houses stretch as far as the horizon – they are all identical, empty and disturbing. The couple is surprised by the sterility of the interiors and the atmosphere in the neighborhood starts to feel uncomfortable. Meanwhile, the agent who brought them there unexpectedly disappears and leaves Gemma and Tom on their own. They can’t find a way to get out of the estate. The slogan advertising the housing estate as a home for a lifetime begins to sound quite dark. The couple is stuck in a surreal trap with pretty strange rules. The only thing they can do is to live in this place and wait for something to break the monotony prevailing in this charming, peaceful and orderly hell.
Lorcan Finnegan takes viewers to a disturbing place somewhere outside our reality. The director keeps us in suspense and gradually gives us the next pieces of a puzzle that will never be completely solved. “Vivarium” severely violates our comfort zone with its surreal climate, lack of clear answers, abstraction of circumstances and a feeling of enslavement. The housing estate from our worst nightmares is also a place of another type of struggle – the story of Gemma and Tom is a metaphor for the monotony of adult life, the trap of adulthood and the breakup of family ties. This movie is about the grim fate that may befall each and every one of us.
Starring: Oscar nominee Jesse Eisenberg and BIFA winner – Imogen Poots.