By Eric Trigg.
Peripheral is a science fiction thriller that centers on Bobbi Johnson, a young author who has grown in popularity due to her first novel. Directed by Paul Hyett (Heretiks, Howl) the film tackles the dangers of a technology addiction. Starring Tom Conti, Rosie Day, Jenny Seagrove, Elliot Langridge, and Hannah Arterton as Bobbi Johnson. Peripheral does an amazing job with its visual imagery, and special effects but the story seems a bit incomplete in ways.
Characters come and go from scenes without explanation, and random moments of pleasure occur on screen without flowing with the rest of the film. Bobbi (Hannah Arterton) is a growing literature success and she even has her own stalker already. Struggling to write her second novel she receives a smart editing software from her publisher that begins to write Bobbi’s book for her. Peripheral seems to want to play with the idea of technology controlling reality if we are not careful with how it is used. The idea that technology can be controlling was presented on screen earlier in the year with Upgrade.
Peripheral struggles with keeping focus a bit and certain scenes offer nothing to the film and should have been cut. Witten by Dan Schaffer it appears that the character of Bobbi is part of a social thought control which could be the writer poking at society in the real world. Technology is expanding every day in society, and the future seems to lie in artificial intelligence being at the helm of everyone’s existence.
Bobbi’s newly installed artificial machine takes over her mind and begins deciding how it wants the narrative to play out. The film may not make complete sense upon first watch, but multiple viewings could assist in putting all the pieces together. Peripheral is a unique take on the dangers of technology and should be watched with an open mind.
Hannah Arterton gives a solid performance as the main lead, it is visually stunning, and although the film is heavily flawed there is still a lesson to be learned when watching Peripheral.
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