Il Futuro (The Future)
Hauer isn't really known for this kind of role and it seemed as though this might be one of these surprising performances for an actor more known for roles where he would be less revealing, less personable, less human. A role that could surprise fans and allow him to deliver the performance of his career, something that the blurb itself suggests.
"Featuring spellbinding central performances from Manuela Martelli and Rutger Hauer, director/screenwriter Alicia Scherson’s moving story of trust, intimacy and self-discovery is steeped in beauty and poignancy, the ever charismatic Hauer’s effortless dignity and gravitas elevating his portrayal of the solitary ex-Mr Universe into one of his finest works in years."
...and the trailer:
The film opens with a few strong sequences, the shots of the car, the vague voice over and then the strange dialogue at the car wreckers, but the mystery just grows and grows from there without any real goal or direction. Speeches seemed esoteric and suggested a story on a much higher level than the one that began to unfold. Most importantly these speeches and early scenes seemed to go absolutely nowhere and serve no real purpose for the characters or their story, other than to get our leading character to the point to start the core of the film as an orphan looking after her brother.
It is a slow start though, a painfully long one at that. I struggled to stay with the film until something really started happening, until the story started moving somewhere worthwhile and meaningful for the film. Until then the talk of supernatural light, shots of solar flares and other such distractions were tiring.
There were also a number of distracting plot lines which seemed to be going somewhere and then never did, the story of the parents and the mysterious colour changing car being one of them. It seems a convoluted way to set-up the story of the brother and sister, the brother seemingly just being there to bring in the personal trainers who are key to kick the sister's story forward, and one that seems overly built up to be something it isn't.
It seems that there is so much that was superfluous to the actual story and could easily have been edited out to allow for more of what worked for the film, the story of the young woman and her relationship with the ex-Mr Universe. Even this thread took quite a long time to make any move forward, but it did gain a lot more attention when it did.
All the draw for this film is in that core thread of the relationship and how it grows between the young woman and the aged star. Their story does develop rather well and the two leads are good together although I do think that some of the draw is from Rutger Hauer playing some amusing quirks to his character – the blind man wielding the Samurai sword being one of them – and a little more to the alluring Italian female lead. Yet while the story does develop and bring some change to both characters’ lives, it still takes an overly long time to do so, a time filled with not a great deal else.
The character played by Hauer is an interesting one, carrying a hidden past with his life turned around through a terrible event that left him scarred, not only physically resulting in his blindness but also emotionally, something that is never really uncovered. While his character does find a little enlightenment it doesn't feel like a complete story. The film is much more eager to move on from the story than it is to start it.
Il Futuro does have some attraction but it is a short story hidden amongst a lot of storytelling that seems to be unrelated and goes nowhere. At the beginning of the film plot threads are created and dropped, dialogue and scenes appear a little too arty and a voice-over talks at a height well above the rest of the film.
When it does get to the core story between the two leads we find a much more interesting and engaging story that takes a long time to go anywhere and when it finally does it doesn't seem to go too far before returning to where we were originally with little fuss or point.
There was a short story that was in there and that was about these two damaged characters and their hidden past, and about their growing feelings for each other, however it was all too little and, well, too little.
Other than seeing Rutger Hauer in this interesting role and the lovely Manuela Martelli in some gorgeous shots, often with little on, there's not a great deal to Il Futuro to see. I felt it was all rather dull and overly long.