Young Ones (2014)

The future, it turns out is a dry and harsh land.  There isn’t enough water to go around and lots of farmers have been forced to give up their land.  But Ernest Holm has no intention of being one of them.

Had this simple tale of survival been all it had to offer, Young Ones would still have stood out as an exceptional, well made film.  But once it has introduced us to this world, and showed us what it takes to survive in it, greed and ambition thrust themselves into the story, leading to Holm’s murder, and his murderer – his daughter’s boyfriend – gaining control of the farm.

It’s a densely layered drama which slowly builds up its characters before showing us where their weaknesses will take them.  I’ve heard it compared to a Greek tragedy:  that is hardly an idle description, particularly when the villain of the piece, played by Nicholas Hoult, is such an engaging and attractive young man; charming…and yet lethal.

It is rare for SF to produce a serious drama – and even rarer, still, for someone to create a serious drama which depends so much on it’s SF elements.

All and all, it’s a beautiful film.  If only they would make more like it.

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