Tropic (Tropique) follows two brothers, Tristan and Lazaro, who are training to be part of the first generation of European astronauts attempting to launch a colonisation effort.
One night, Tristan brings Lazaro to a local pond in order to help train him, however, an unidentified object infects the water and disfigures Tristan who cannot escape the pond in time. With Tristan unable to train as before, Lazaro is forced to deal with the rippling effects of his brother’s condition on his personal life and training.
While Tropic masquerades itself as merely a sci-fi horror, it defies those boundaries, becoming more of a slow-burn arthouse film, dealing with trauma and guilt, than your typical genre fare.
Most sci-fi of this kind grapples with the who-what’s-and-why’s of the event, and focuses on the dissection of what happened, but Tropic focuses on the aftermath of the event – both on the character whom it directly effects and those around him who deal with the ripples and repercussions.
Delicate performances from Pablo Cobo (Lazaro) and Louis Peres (Tristan) fully recognise the emotional core of the film & really sell the relationship between the two main brothers.
Their mother Mayra, played by Marta Nieto, also adds an additional perspective to the film’s events, as she too must come to terms with the rapid change in their lives.
The festival programmer referred to the film as having ‘hints of Cronenberg’, invoking much scepticism, but the makeup artistry on Tristan’s disfigured face resembles such horrific body disfiguration as in Videodrome or The Brood, and the way in which the film overcomes its genre expectations is very much in the vein of Cronenberg too.
Tropic isn’t the film many will expect – especially as it has played at genre festivals recently, in addition to GFF – but it will please those looking for a more reflective, slow-burn and artful sci-fi.
Tropic premiered on 04/03/2023 and will screen additionally on Sunday 5th at 6pm.
Further release information is yet to be announced.
Featured Image Credit: Pulsar Content
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