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9 March 2013

What does a scanner see?

The unusual adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel, A Scanner Darkly (2006), takes a wander into the darker side of the drug world. Substance D is afflicting the minds of the drug community and it’s caught the attention of the authority. Going undercover is Arctor’s chance to bring the drug network down but to get close he has to go in deep and could lose his grip on reality as a result.

The thing that we loved about this film is how deep the storyline is, it’s filled with layers of themes which slowly unravel across the film. It’s a journey into delirium where the characters are given a warped view on reality and must decipher what is real and what isn’t.

The film comes across very strongly with an anti-drug message, with the focus very much on the bad experiences that the characters feel. For anyone that doesn’t know about the book and its author, it’s a semi-biographical novel based on his experiences with drugs.

To carry this semi-biographical feel to the film wouldn’t have been easy, but we feel this was done to great effect by the use of the cartoon filter. This gave everything a very surreal feel where the real experiences blended perfectly with the fictional world. This effect can be strange at first but you quickly come to like it and see how it helps to portray the paranoia and delusions.



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We have read a few comments saying that the film was boring and be just can’t agree with that. Yes, the film isn’t filled with non-stop action but that isn’t what this film is about. It’s about the raw emotions and mental state of the characters as they have to overcome the difficulty of addiction. If you thought it was boring then you have probably missed these critical ideas that for us make the film so great.

Overall it’s an excellent film with a fantastic style. It’s dark and twisted from the start, and keeps its key messages consistently throughout. The film thoroughly deserves a 9/10 for being a truly unique piece of cinema gold. We hope you enjoyed this review and will stick around a bit longer.

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