Written & Directed by Keir Burrows
Starring Yaiza Figueroa, Philippa Carson, Tom Barber-Duffy
Indie Film Review by Taryll Baker
Taking inspiration from the Alice in Wonderland tale, Keir Burrows’ Anti Matter delivers a truly thought-provoking experience that not only looks the part, but feels it. Right from the opening shot we’re transported into this strange and colourful world where Ana (Yaiza Figueroa), an Oxford PhD student, experiments with her new, bold technology. After travelling through a worm hole, the story follows Ana as she desperately tries to understand what happened, and what is behind the rising horror in her life.
Let’s start with the performances. Firstly, Yaiza Figueroa is captivating as Ana, shining throughout her wonderfully textured performance. She takes this film in places no one else could. Resembling the strong Gal Gadot, but with her own charm, she became one of my favourite indie performers yet. Alongside her is Philippa Carson and Tom Barber-Duffy who provide a likeable chemistry that Figueroa can play with, which makes the dynamic trio a strong pillar in Anti Matter, something that makes me very happy when watching.
The way this feature has been shot is truly brilliant. Cinematographer Gerry Vasbenter has done a splendid job capturing, not only the performances, but the streets and the lab also. The colour grading plays a big part in this, and it’s great to see all of the pieces come together so naturally. Speaking of pieces, editor Rhys Barter takes every scene and weaves them together with ease. The finale sequence is even more effective with his skilful fast-cuts and eerie jumps to past within the present. The talent is present in all corners of this film's production, it’s clear as day.
Heading into the story; it can be a little convoluted and unrealistic, but I believe that’s where the ‘fiction’ half of the genre comes in. There’s a lot of science, but not all of it is entirely accurate. However, as it’s science-fiction you can allow for some change. I liked what writer and director Keir Burrows was aiming for, I found it to be really big and ambitious, and luckily, well-realised and achieved.
The original score by Edwin Sykes is a thrilling, synth-driven and impactful supporting act. The first scene of Anti Matter introduces a beautiful melody played on the piano, which becomes a vital thread in the story and as the film progresses and evolves, Sykes’ work does too. It’s a score that stuck with me, and it’s one of the highlights of the film itself.
Keir Burrows’ sci-fi noir mystery is a stunning piece, and with its satisfying twist, becomes one of those sensational secret gems in independent filmmaking.