By Will Barber Taylor
Two friends, Cerys (Lauren Cooney) and Gwilym (Scott Michael Wagstaff) seek spiritual salvation in India away from their hedonistic and disconnected lives, in advance of the impending collapse of the Cosmos. They have lived all their lives knowing the world would end – now they get to see it.
There is a great deal of science fiction films out there. Many, like Pendulum, cover the subject of the destruction of the planet. However, this film is different – it bases it premise on the idea that the destruction of the world was foretold thirty years prior to the events of the film. An entire generation have grown up with the knowledge that the world would be certain to end and, therefore, they were a generation of hedonists and adrenaline junkies. This allows the film to have a different and more interesting take on the traditional end of the world scenario. Writer and Director Lauren Cooney ensures that the world she creates is one of people desperate to find joy from utter despair.
The sense of loss and horror that comes with Pendulum is beautifully realised through the cinematography of the film. Cooney does an excellent job of contrasting the gloomy streets of Britain with the vivid colours of India – certain sequences, such as the final shot, are injected with an incredible potency and skill that marks out Cooney as a filmmaker to watch for the future.
The acting is excellent with both central leads, Cooney and Wagstaff playing their parts to perfection. Wagstaff excellently portrays a man desperate to keep some semblance of normality and control to his life but who feels that he is giving in to the madness that is consuming the world. His interactions with Cooney’s character are pitched wonderfully and they do truly feel like two old friends, desperate to find some meaning.
Pendulum is a fine film that embodies feelings of disquiet as to our future superbly and allows us to wonder how humanity would react to being told it would be wiped out. It combines invigorating writing, acting and directing to present a truly thought provoking reflection of what we could become.
You can read my interview with director Lauren Cooney here