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Movie Review: 'Self/Less' Depicts Selfish Desire for Worldly Immortality

by Todd A. Smith


(Photo Credit: Focus Features)


The Quest for Immortality 




No one wants to die.

Even many who believe in Heaven do not want to die to get there.

We would miss our loved ones, our passions and our hobbies.

But what if immortality this side of Heaven was possible?

“Self/Less” explores that hope through a procedure called shedding, which is the transporting of a living person’s soul into a body that is created in a lab by some of the world’s most gifted scientists.

However, like everything in the world life is not fair and everlasting Earthly life via shedding is even less fair.

Shedding is reserved for the rich and influential so that their genius and legacy can live on, while common folks deal with the harsh reality of mortality.

Damian (Ben Kingsley) is an extremely wealthy real estate mogul who is battling a deadly form of cancer.

His peers and competitors know that he only has a limited time to live and they are using that reality to sway business away from his company and toward theirs.

Damian also has an estranged relationship with his daughter Claire (Michelle Dockery).

Despite all of the money in the world, he almost finds out too late in life that money cannot buy the respect of a relative.  Only unconditional love can maintain that family bond.

With not enough time to rectify all of his problems, Damian decides to pay millions to save his soul through shedding.

He is given the body of a 35-year-old played by Ryan Reynolds, a new identity and a new lease on life.

Young Damian (Reynolds) is able to enjoy the company of beautiful women with perfect bodies, which is a site that he has not seen in person in almost 50 years.

Despite the scientific breakthroughs by Dr. Albright (Matthew Goode), shedding does not come without complications.

Young Damian has to overcome the initial seizures that come with shedding.

The shedding includes flashbacks so vivid that they must have happened to a real person sometime in the past.

When Albright dismisses these flashbacks as normal, Young Damian is determined to learn more about the flashbacks and the people he keeps seeing flash before his eyes.

“Self/Less” is a remarkably unique, demented and heartwarming film all wrapped into one.

The concept behind “Self/Less” stands out even more in a day in which Hollywood gets more formulaic with their projects.

Screenwriters David and Alex Pastor step out on a limb to create an unprecedented storyline, which will have moviegoers literally on the edge of their seats.

In addition, the stars of “Self/Less” like Reynolds and Derek Luke are remarkable as expected.

The concept is so different that it makes one wonder about the possibility of shedding.

What if one could live eternally on Earth, would it be worth it?

Very few actually want to die, but is immortality worth it if one has to cut off contact with everyone they know from the past and create a new identity?

Is it worth it if it comes with a million side effects?

Furthermore, what is the catch?


The catch might be that immortality is not possible without a death first.






This article was published on Friday 10 July, 2015.
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