Pandorica is about the leadership trials of the Varosha tribe. Three young members have been chosen to take on the night long trial to see who will emerge as the new leader of their people. The possible successors are Eiren, a quiet but confident young woman, Ares an arrogant and hot headed loner and Thade a man who struggles with knowing what is best for him and his people. As the trial goes on, the three come across a mystery item that seems to wield great power, but they are not the only ones in the forest that night and a battle ensues that only the toughest will survive.
Although set in a post apocalyptic future, the film seems quite historic, the lack of technology and modern day weaponry gives the film a medieval feel which suits it well. The overall look of the film is impressive to say the least especially when you hear that the majority of it was shot on a Paintball site in Billericay! With a budget of just £77,000 writer and director Tom Paton creates a believable and intriguing world which you can’t help but feel involved in as the film goes on. Some of the writing is quite basic in places and sometimes struggles to feel necessary, but this doesn’t take away from the progression of the overall story being told. It moves along at a steady pace with an ending that isn’t unexpected but still satisfying for the viewer.
What impressed me most about Pandorica is the world that is created in the short run time of just over eighty minutes. The film revolves around the events of just one night but gives us an insight to many generations of the tribe and what lies ahead for its people. A prequel is also available as a Comic and a sequel has already been confirmed.
This is Paton’s feature length film debut and he shows a great understanding of the genre, managing to set a dark tense tone that suits the characters and story line well.
What is on the screen does well to keep the viewer interested even if the story doesn’t bring anything new or that hasn’t been seen before but manages to find a new setting in a world that leaves you wondering “what next?” However what I found most impressive was the off camera work. Paton’s world building manages to raise questions that aren’t answered in the film but the audience seems happy to guess for themselves. This is why a sequel is good news. The young writer and director can learn from his impressive first attempt and bring us a sequel that builds on his strong first shot at the movie business.
By Paul Tickle