Annihilation: Destruction or Awakening?

Is Annihilation to be considered a return to the Silver Screen or a Marked Improvement on his Directorial Debut for Alex Garland?

I shall attempt to decode that in the next few words based on what I just experienced in the last 90 minutes of this spectacle

Alex Garland once again proves why he’s a talent who just cannot, and I repeat, CANNOT be IGNORED

This time he chooses to adapt Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation(of The Southern Reach Trilogy) into source material for creating a thriller which is purely edge of the seat stuff

Without giving out spoilers, this story follows a group of military scientists who enter “The Shimmer”, a mysterious quarantined zone full of mutating landscapes and creatures

Right from the first frame, Garland grabs you and does not let go by launching an orgasmic explosion of visually hallucinating images

Natalie Portman plays an ex army officer and biologist who is asked to join the expedition to figure out how her husband made it back as the lone survivor

Once inside the Shimmer, the group goes through various mutations and experiences that question their reality

The rest of the movie makes up for what they all experience based on their realities and tragedies

Now, I shall attempt to show case the amazing aspects of this Intellectual Sci-Fi Thriller:

  • Natalie Portman gives a sublime yet elegant performance that borders between desperation and stubbornness
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh seen on-screen after a long time delights us as the Psychologist who is out there with an agenda of her own and hell-bent on ending this long drawn trauma
  • The Music Score by Salisbury and Barrow is nothing short of eerie but brings out the required thrills of what’s happening in The Shimmer
  • The Screen play and Direction by Garland that plays with the source material and makes it his own by interpreting many aspects with an ambiguous life that shall leave you thinking and much more
  • A sequence involving an attack on Rodriguez is a marvel to witness and shall give you chills right down to your spine in the way it’s executed
  • The Climax sequence will give you a different spin and make your mind go back and forth searching for answers of what this Annihilation actually signifies

Initially when I had read of this one being deemed as Too Intellectual for Audiences, I did speculate that Paramount must have underestimated their Audiences wanting to stream it on Netflix rather than opting for a Theatrical Release

But now after having spent the last 90 Minutes witnessing this Gem of a Movie, I have to admit that the Studio Heads at Paramount were right

Hats off to Alex Garland for having followed up his Directorial Debut with such a Promising Movie that is without a doubt, Too Intellectual and Smart for Audiences

I would still urge each and every one to attempt witnessing this Masterpiece at least once even if we fail to decipher the meaning of what Garland has tried to convey with this story

If we like Cinema from the genius of Nolan, there is definitely no way we can ignore Garland and his craft

It would have been Magic to witness this movie in a Movie Theater as it is amongst the best of the year so far!