Produced by Netflix, The Discovery is a look at a world where the existence of afterlife is scientifically proven and how this effects the way people live their lives. Read my review…
Starring Jason Segel, Rooney Mara and Robert Redford, The Discovery is a very dower movie with some lofty ambitions of storytelling. The premise is that Robert Redford’s character Thomas has discovered evidence of and confirmed the existence of afterlife. As a result, the suicide rate across the world is rising astronomically and Thomas begins work on a project that will enable him to record the afterlife for those alive to see. This is a very interesting premise with great hook that grabbed me from the beginning.
With that setting, there are several topics of discussion that make this a very compelling world to discover. Thomas’s obsession with the afterlife, the almost cult like following he has amassed, the technology invented to be able to monitor and record an individual’s experience in the afterlife and the idea of the afterlife being so seductive to people that they are willing to end their own lives.
However, the filmmaker decide to take this story in a direction that I did not appreciate. They decide to focus on the love story between Jason Segel’s Will and Rooney Mara’s Isla. Maybe the fault lies with the marketing of this movie. When watching the trailer, I expected to see a thinking person’s sci-fi drama that will ask its audience to discus certain existential issues about life, death and the afterlife. That is not what I got from this movie.
Despite my disappointment due to my expectations, on reflections this is a compelling enough story. Even though it doesn’t delve deep into what I wish it did, the movie does at least raise those issues and encourages the viewers to ponder consciousness and reality a little more. The movie seems really dark and dreary but there are moments of levity which I really appreciated, especially between Will and Isla. There is one particular scene that takes place in near darkness when Will and Isla go on an existential tangent that is fascinating to watch (or listen to).
Overall, The Discovery is a decent movie based around an amazing concept that just lacked a little focus at times. Once again, that could well just be down to my expectations from the trailer. As long as you go into it without any preconceived notions of what the movie should be, you will enjoy watching it.
My Score: 3/5 – which is a recommendation.
If you would like to stay up to date with all the film reviews then enter your email address in the box on the top right side of this page and click follow.