Oryan Landa, Josephine McAdam, Holt Boggs, Jeremy St. James
David Bukstein, Deepak Chetty
Deepak Chetty's "Hard Reset" an Effective, Involving 3-D Short
In Deepak Chetty's 3-D short film Hard Reset, Miles Archer (Oryan Landa) is a young detective who must choose between synthetic freedom and the future of humankind. The film, which was originally planned for 2-D, became a 3-D creation when Chetty's school, University of Texas at Austin, received funding from the Moody Foundation to establish UT3D. The timing was perfect and, rather suddenly, Chetty's already planned thesis project became the school's first 3-D film.
Co-written by Chetty with David Bukstein, Hard Reset takes place in the distant future. A controlling central government known as GovCentral has set out to eliminate a newly rising faction of rebels known as The Emancipators whose goal is to provide freedom for all synths. Synths are artificially intelligent bio-mechanical androids restricted into subservient roles within every strata of human society. They are human, but not. They have personalities and identities, yet they have no true freedoms or ability toward self-direction. For a synth, the sole purpose of life it to serve. The Emancipators have a vision of freedom for the synths.
As Archer, Oryan Landa makes for a compelling and involving central figure whose value system is complicated by the presence of Jane PS626 (Josephine McAdam), a synth both subservient and seemingly aware of something else.
Maybe. Maybe not.
Chetty makes good use of 3-D technology, though certainly the ultimate test would have been to have seen the film on a more traditional theatrical screen. That said, even with multiple darkly lit scenes Chetty was able to avoid many of the usual pitfalls for 3-D cinema including muddy visuals and ineffective shadowing. Nathan Felix's original music complements the film's imaging quite nicely, while D.P. Patrick Smith's lensing nicely utilizes the 3-D technology without losing the impact of Bukstein and Chetty's story.
There's little denying that Hard Reset is a somewhat familiar sci-fi story, though it's told well and it's nicely brought to life with effective and involving performances, in particular, from co-leads Landa and McAdam. Despite feeling fairly sure where the story was going, the two performers are engaging and kept me as immersed as did the 3-D technology.
For more information on Hard Reset, visit the film's website linked to in the credits.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic