Director: Olivier Asselin
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Starring: Lucille Fluet, Paul Ahmarani, Olivier Barrett
Runtime: 96 minutes
What It Is: In 1944, an Allied spy must attempt to execute a German scientist who has discovered how to build an atomic bomb. However, memories of love and quantum mechanics complicate the spy’s goal.
What We Thought: Perhaps the best things about Olivier Asselin’s mystery/drama/thriller are the ideas in its head. A film with thought-provoking ideas on its mind is already ahead of many films out there. THE CYCLOTRON admirably attempts to blend a historical thriller with a love story that is intertwined with quantum physics, particularly of the trippy and mind-blowing variety. Unfortunately, where these ideas provide the film’s most memorable moments, it mostly fails at intertwining its ideas with a compelling story. I never felt that I had a full grasp of the characters, never enough to truly care about them. The script was strong in individual moments and scenes, but not to bring a cohesive whole together into something that worked fully.
With that said, the film employs a unique visual blend of style; it is shot quite well, sometimes beautifully. The performances are more than competent, and as I said, the writing was thoughtful and even elegant, but as a story didn’t work as well as some of its best individual moments did.
Our Rating: C –,Ultimately I feel that the film had great potential, and sometimes that potential overcame the film’s shortcomings and flaws. Best of all is that it is a quietly thought-provoking experience. I would be interested to see the writer/director grow and bring his visions to life more effectively in the future.