Teleios (2017)

Teleios

In Greek, the word means “perfect.”

But, ironically, it also means “having reached its end,” a meaning that ties in nicely with the ending of this film.

On the surface, this stunning, independent film is about a team of genetically perfect, corporately created super humans on a mission to recover a cargo from a missing space freighter.  But, as they soon learn when they reach the ship and find the entire crew dead or missing and only a single survivor and his robot (“Art”) companion, there is a lot more going on beneath the surface.

And the secrets they discover threaten to destroy civilization.

This is a lovely, slow burn mystery film.  It takes its time, teasing us with one strange detail after another, gradually building up the suspense and uncertainty before ever letting us in on its secrets.

And, what is even better is that there is a lot going on beneath the surface.  They have far more to worry about than the secrets the lone survivor is keeping from them.  There is something wrong with their mission – and something terrible seems to be happening to all of them, despite their perfection.

I have to admit I like the themes here: unintended consequences; hubris; what it means to be human; and what perfection really means.

One of the details which I find particularly impressive, is how physically perfect the crew seems – not massive Schwarzenegger clones, but Greek god perfect.  It’s like a ship full of Ken and Barbie dolls – which, again, fits the story Ian Truitner is telling here.  I had a hard time telling Linden and Zimmer apart at times, as they have nearly identical physiques and similar facial structure.  And, yes, it fits the story.

About the only downside I note is that the CGI looks a bit soft – and that the Teleios itself (which was apparently named for its “perfect” crew), while it has a somewhat interesting design, lacks a truly distinctive profile and looks more like a big cylinder.  But these are minor complaints in a beautiful and well made film.

I can only hope Ian will be making more SF films in the future.

…And soon, please!

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