Short Film Plurality Posits Dangers of Information Age

By Nick Venable | 9 years ago

Considering how a simple Foursquare check-in can potentially dump almost all of your Facebook information into the grubby hands of affiliated marketing companies, attaining privacy in a digital world is not getting any easier. Dennis A. Liu’s latest project, the short film Plurality,  presents the logical conclusion to this effect, called the Pentham Grid, where every aspect of our lives, from opening car doors to purchasing gum, is embedded into our DNA, rendering vehicle keys and credit cards useless.

The use of a “Beware Big Brother Pentham” sign should alert you to what kind of a future this film inhabits. Liu takes care to drive home how easily crime is corralled by these methods, negating all urges to call it “dystopian.” This is the future we should hope for. Until…

After a stilted voiceover alerts viewers of all the ways the world has been changed by the year 2023, Plurality‘s story begins. Essentially, it’s a chase-turned-interrogation film where a room of government employees guide a cop, Inspector Foucault (Jeffrey Nissani), to hunt down Alana Winston (Samantha Strelitz), who has been recognized as being a “plurality,” or an identical DNA strand to an already existing citizen.

Short films really don’t need this kind of pre-viewing exposition. Experience the film yourself right now.

I still won’t post any spoilers here, even assuming you’ve watched it. But I must mention how gorgeously executed the chase sequence was. When an audience isn’t yet aware of the stakes involved, it always helps to give them something pretty and exciting to watch, and this delivers. Though the second half can’t sustain the frantic pace, it ups the intelligence factor and concludes on a strange note, and one that doesn’t necessarily feel earned, but earns no ire either.

A very special pat on the back to Mr. Liu for including a scene straight out of every hackneyed slapstick film that’s ever existed: the “two guys on a sidewalk holding a large pane of glass” scene. I won’t ruin it. It can’t be ruined. Share your thoughts.