Join director Evan Boehm on a kaleidoscopic journey through the tale of a boy trapped in a frightening spiral of addiction.
Interactive short Solace is half think-piece, half click-piece, and this spritely adaptation of a short story by revered sci-fi writer Jeff Noon (one of my personal favourites) is a fun and engaging experience that raises questions about the insidious, intertwined roles of technology and marketing in our everyday lives.
The film follows a traditional linear structure, but it’s really the polish of the piece and the hook of the narrative that keeps you gripped. Touted as a real-time, interactive, liquid simulation of the web, the audience involvement here is more about adding fun to an already bubbly narrative as opposed to driving the narrative forward, or providing the viewer with multiple story branches.
Boehm revealed that the aim of Solace was to “push the limits of interactive storytelling, whilst encouraging debate about the social, cultural, and ethical consequences of future genetic technologies,” so it’s obvious that the director and his team intended this to be more than just a fun click-along adventure.
Though fans of Noon will find traces of the author’s distinct perspective on modern-life coursing through the animated, coded veins of Solace, it’s also hard not to watch the film and think of that classic childhood tale Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. As in Dahl’s work, the sweet, fizzy exterior of Solace belies dark undertones destined to get you thinking about the society in which we have created for ourselves.