The world we live in is fascinating, isn’t it? In its own way, it is a dystopian world. And I mean all the technologies we – ordinary and humble human beings having access to. It is shocking looking back to twenty years ago when so many things seemed impossible, yet today are part of our daily routine. The emerging world of Virtual Reality will soon estrange us from our real world, our loved ones, and our daily jobs. All of that for the illusion of entering a universe we could be a part of. In the end, we might just lose the sense of reality in exchange for a virtual one that can take away what makes us unique.
“Real Player One” is based on a novel by Ernest Cline and directed by one of the prominent masters of cinema – Steven Spielberg. The film clearly indicates where the threat comes from, why we must be alarmed by the new technology no matter how mind-blowing, astounding and revolutionary it looks. The events of this film take place in a dystopian world of 2044, where the reality has become so surreal and unbelievable in comparison with the advanced technologies have to offer. Eventually, it will keep people as hostages, dictating through VR goggles what they should do, how they must spend their day and so on.
Our protagonist Wade Watts is a very smart young man. Same as for the majority of the population of Columbus, Ohio, his life involves a lot of Virtual Reality. In the intro scene, Wade introduces himself to us. He was born in 2027; his parents died when he was young; currently, he lives with his aunt Alice who has her own standards of living. He explains to us why the people from 2044 try look for ways of escape from their uneventful lives. When the creator of the virtual reality world the OASIS dies, he virtually challenges every single user of the OASIS to find his Easter Egg. To do that, they will have to find three keys to solve a mystery. The one who succeeds will get his entire fortune. Teenager Watts manages to find the first key which earns him the status of a celebrity. But the current owner of OASIS – Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn) does not appreciate that.
Through fantastically impressive challenges, stunning visuals, and CGI effects, the film transports the viewer into the nostalgic world of the past. The CGI clearly does what is required to helps us relive the revolutionary moment in cinema created for us by Spielberg. It is indeed an ambitious project, but not for a great mind like Spielberg who is perfectly capable to orchestrate it. The great behind-the-scenes film justifies the director’s choices and helps the viewer to get closer to what might be a historic event for cinema.
Olivia Cooke as the rebellious gamer Samantha (Art3mis in OASIS) and Tye Sheridan as Wade Watts (his OASIS avatar is named Parzival) score big by being part in a film of such scale. I believe it is a big deal for any cast and crew member to be in “Real Player One,” as so far it’s the best film about gaming or the game itself. It will surely guarantee a great professional career for them as a new generation of stars of the world cinema.
With over two hours of running time, “Real Player One” is one of a kind film and never falls short. There is not a single scene that could’ve been left out or cut shorter. The visual effects, the editing, the soundtrack and every single detail in the film is pure art assembled by one of the greatest artists – Steven Spielberg. On top of that, this film raises so many valid points about the life we all might be facing in the future. It makes us think about the priorities, the importance of spending much more time with our family or friends than in a virtual world lacking sense and feeling.
In the end, what can be admired by the eye, cannot feed the stomach, cannot touch the core feelings or change the true perspective of life. This film is a complete winner because of its concept which is not only relevant but also painfully true. Finally, maybe once we realize that the beautiful and innovative destination we are heading to has nothing humane to look forward to, it might still be possible to fix it.