Ostensibly a romance built around an elaborate form of identity theft which utilises organic methods to invoke a suggestive, hypnotic state from its victims, the film gently evolves into a heartfelt love story between two lost souls brought together by more than just their shared commute to work. With Primer, Carruth created an impressively complex mathematical equation of a movie that both impressed and baffled audiences. Upstream Color marks a natural progression, containing the same degree of ingenuity, yet enhancing it with a genuine sense of warmth and emotion.
As equally spellbinding as it is intellectually exhausting, the film's veneer of unequivocal beauty blinds you to an outlandish premise - that includes a perplexing mixture of crushed flower petals, plump parasitic maggots and emotionally-involved pigs - just long enough for you to become completely enthralled. Complemented further through a sinuous symphonic score and an agile, yet tactful editing aesthetic style, Upstream Color is an outstanding hybrid piece that enchants you on all possible levels, invigorating both the brain and the senses.
Understandably, many will find Carruth's cerebral and enigmatic approach an impenetrable tapestry of gorgeously framed ideas. However, to criticise a director for overreaching or being too intellectual is detrimental to an industry all too reliant on formulaic storytelling techniques. Whilst Upstream Color may be a challenging and complex cinematic enigma, there' an innocent sincerity behind this truly unique romance that will not only win your heart - it'll devour your thoughts and dreams for days and weeks to come.
The 2nd Sundance London film and music festival takes place from 25-28 April, 2013. For more of our Sundance London 2013 coverage, simply follow this link.