Cognition

On the planet Vega a father and son look to the skies and the promise of the stars and the worlds which orbit them; Elias had always hoped that one day he might journey to them but while it was not to be his destiny it is a dream Abner has inherited which in other circumstances might have come to pass.

Fourteen years later, all Abner has of his father are memories, fragmentary and covered with the dust blown up by the vessel which descended from that same sky, the cloaked figures who strode out and took him by force; now an adult, Abner is summoned by Consul Ea who recalls how his gifts were recognised and he was set on his path and the mission which she now assigns him.

“If children are seeds, then we are the harvest, Ea tells Abner, and Cognition is the stunning fruit grown by writer, producer and director Ravi Ajit Chopra, his parents owners of a Midlands video rental store where he spent his childhood immersed in movies of all genres which have inspired his ambitious science fiction short film of family, duty and defiance.

The Woman in Black‘s Jeremy Irvine is Abner, raised by the technologically advanced Empire, conditioned through his life to become their agent, but if his memories are not what they seem to be is he even the person he thinks he is, and to whom does his loyalty lie, Doctor Zoger (Wonder Woman‘s Wolf Kahler) or his father Elias (Spectre‘s Andrew Scott), part of a past long gone?

Built around dazzling visuals supported by a score performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, Cognition packs an enormous amount of information and experience into its running time of only twenty-six minutes including titles, possibly too much when it asks an audience to grasp a complex narrative then unpicks it as Abner’s first assignment leads him to question protocol and his own memory.

The dialogue slightly pompous, this is not the stuff of kitchen sink drama but the dark deeds of an empire of purpose and power which spans star systems and it is to be hoped that Chopra will be able to fulfil his stated intention to expand the concept of Cognition, claiming the vast space that his ideas demand which this initial glimpse can only hint at.

Having premiered at the former Battersea Power Station where location filming took place, Cognition is currently on limited cinema release prior to its digital release on Friday 30th October

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