Fantasia 2023: Our Review of ‘Restore Point’

Fantasia 2023: Our Review of ‘Restore Point’

“No matter what, I want to continue living with the awareness that I will die. Without that I am not alive.”

Kitchen, Banana Yoshimoto

Robert Hloz’s Restore Point aims to come to the same conclusions as the legendary novel by Japanese author Banana Yoshiomo referenced above. How could the film not? It’s a text that takes place in a future where humans can back up their memories to a cloud. From there, they can be restored in the event of an accidental fatality. As the company in charge of this service seeks to go private, a scandal erupts where someone murders one of its founding members. Detective Emma Trochinowska (Andrea Mohylová) digs further into the corporation’s deeds, she comes to realize that there is more than meets the eye.

Unfortunately, Hloz dances around the idea of death that the text seeks to discuss. Restore Point does actually have some insights into the importance of understanding the universality of death and its subsequent importance to life. Yet, the text invests too much time in ensuring that it adheres to the mechanics of its core mystery. Hloz is incapable of balancing the larger questions that the films seeks to ask, and the genre space that the film seeks to play within.

What separates the wheat from the space age chaff in science fiction is ultimately how well the film focuses on the former. Many reviews will likely reference Minority Report and Blade Runner; Restore Point clearly interweaves those two main influences into itsvery fabric. However, one can only make these comparisons on surface level. The titans of this genre ask us to consider “what does it mean to be human?” Restore Point only does this in glimmers, which is a shame as the rest of the film is really quite lovely.

This post was written by
Thomas Wishloff is currently an MA student at York University. He is new to the Toronto Film Scene, but has periodically written and podcasted for several now defunct ventures, and has probably commented on a forum with you at some point. The ex-Edmontonian has been known to enjoy a good board game, and claims to know the secret to the best popcorn in the world.
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