Written by: Mike Carey
Directed by: Colm McCarthy
Starring: Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine
Running Time: 111 Minutes
A gripping plot, zombies and a little girl. This promises to be a fantastic ride. Here’s the complete The Girl With All the Gifts review:
In a dystopian world where a deadly virus turns humans into zombies, a group of survivors are on the run, led by a little girl named Melanie who slowly discovers her true identity and purpose.
The film is set in a dystopian future, where children are held captive in an underground bunker. A team of scientists, led by Dr. Caldwell (Glenn Close), study these children as part of a mission to find the perfect cure to the fungus that turned mankind into zombies. The children are frowned upon by the military personnel as they believe these kids to be abominations.
Among the little ones is our pleasant protagonist Melanie (Sennia Nanua). She is kind, gracious and constantly on the search for answers to her existence. She is particularly attached to Miss Justineau, the teacher who takes care of the kids’ academic needs.
The base is penetrated by ‘hungries’ and a few survivors are plunged into a journey. They are led by a pragmatic Sgt. Parks (Paddy Considine), but their fate rests on the shoulders of young Melanie, who slowly realizes the true nature of her existence.
Keep Colm & Carry on
Director Colm McCarthy (Peaky Blinders, Sherlock) enters the world of big screens and makes a strong statement. We have been showered with an abundance of Zombie (or ‘’Hungries’’ as they’ve been described in this film) movies in the past decade, and most of them have a similar feel. The premise of this film, however, is unique and is taken from a surprisingly different perspective.
The story was originally written by comic book writer Mike Carey (Batman, X-Men). Carey & McCarthy haven’t delivered something breathtaking in terms of story – most of the elements in the film seem like borrowed fix-ups from other films of the genre. To give credit where it’s due, they effectively managed to piece them together, adding a little twist here and there to produce an admirable flick.
The characters really make you feel for them, especially with their transformations. The character developments of Melanie & Sgt. Parks are especially captivating.
The plot is raw and doesn’t waste too much time on dialogue. The film is brimming with wonderful sequences where the characters’ actions are allowed to tell their own story. Even the art team puts in an astonishing effort in creating a post-apocalyptic London.
The icing on the cake is the music by Cristobal Tapia De Veer, which creates a perfect setting for the film. It’s the right mix of eerie and exciting.
Hungry For More
Sennia Nanua (Beverly) puts up a spectacular display as Melanie. At such a young age, she has a plethora of expressions, and her performance grows stronger as the movie progresses. One can only hope to see more of her in the future.
The adult cast needed to put up stellar performances for this gig, and they deliver better than one would have expected. Gemma Arterton (Quantum Of Solace, Clash Of The Titans) puts in a decent shift as the compassionate teacher Miss Justineau. Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, Guardians of The Galaxy) does a good job as the Scientist Dr. Caldwell.
The strongest of the lot, however, is Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum, Peaky Blinders) for his portrayal of Sgt. Parks. He effortlessly portrays a character that transforms from pragmatic bully to considerate leader.
Another notable performance is by Fisayo Akinade (Cucumber) as Gallagher.
All in All
The Girl With All The Gifts is an edgy ride, which luckily has the right amount of everything. It is definitely not a film that redefines the genre, but it most certainly appeals to fans of the genre.
The film leaves you conflicted about the climax and makes one think about what it really means to be human.
Watch it if you’re: A Fan of the Zombie genre OR a fan of British action flicks.