Womb - DVD Review

womb film with matt smith and eva green
The story manages to do achingly little with its set-up. Social attitudes and ethical questions are briefly raised, but never developed and forgotten about just as quickly as they appeared.

Womb (renamed as the less intriguing Clone for its DVD release in the UK) dips its feet in both the indie and Sci-Fi genres with a potentially interesting concept and a cast brimming with potential. It’s a shame then that Benedek Fliegauf’s film will not only fail to hold your attention, but more than likely will struggle to capture it in the first place.

Womb is painfully slow for the most part, with characters taking a ridiculously long time to respond to each other, often filling many a moment with lingering glances and oh-so-meaningful pauses. This artsy style constantly feels at odds with the realistic tone of the world in which Fliegauf has set his story. The director’s use of sound at first is intriguing, but this also starts to grate as the film progresses. There’s only so many times you can hear the characters’ pregnant silences filled with howling winds before you wish it was just silence.

Matt Smith, in a dual role as both Tommy and the cloned version of him, has presence but is only given a handful of scenes in which he can show the vibrancy and eccentricity he is known for through his portrayal of the 11th Doctor in Doctor Who. Smith tries his best for the remainder of the film, but ultimately fails to lift a script which regularly feels woefully flat, at times amateurishly so.

Opposite Smith is a less impressive Eva Green as Rebecca, who never manages to realise the absurd emotional journey her character must be travelling on and instead becomes a key offender of the aforementioned lingering glances. Elsewhere the cast is either forgettable, wooden or seriously underutilised – Lesley Manville gives by far the strongest performance of the whole film, but is afforded only a few scenes throughout.

Womb’s main weakness however is the story it tells. Once it’s taken half an hour to relate what could have been more effectively put across in about five minutes, the main concept of human cloning is introduced and things feel as though they might pick up. Except they don’t. The story manages to do achingly little with its set-up. Social attitudes and ethical questions are briefly raised, but never developed and forgotten about just as quickly as they appeared. The central relationship between Rebecca and Tommy never develops beyond a series of awkward moments and oedipal undercurrents. Once the film reaches its anticlimactic conclusion you’ll undoubtedly be left scratching your head as to what Fliegauf wanted you to get out of watching his ultimately ponderous and self-indulgent film.





By Ben Broadribb. Ben is a regular contributor to Film Intel, having previously written at Some Like It Hot Fuzz. He is normally seen in the wild wearing t-shirts containing obscure film references. He is a geek, often unashamedly so. He's also on and Twitter.

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