Country: USA / Cambodia
Movie Review: “Listening”, legitimately cooked by debutant writer-director, Khalil Sullins, is a sci-fi thriller with little dramatic impact and espionage innuendo. The film follows David Thorogood (Thomas Stroppel) and Ryan Cates (Artie Ahr), two penniless grad students who are capable of outline the most brilliant tech ideas and execute them, but are powerless when it comes to the expensive equipment for the experiments. However, their keenness and the excitement that comes from the possibility of being recognized by a great invention, dare them to steal the hardware pieces from the university lab. Their unauthorized experimentation, consisting in a mind-reading system in which one brain deciphers another brain, is carried out in the congested garage of David, who is so committed to it, that he easily forgets his family. This provokes the discontentment of his wife, Mel (Christine Haeberman), whose understanding and cooperation come to an end when they receive a note of eviction due to lack of payment. Moreover, a sense of mistrust had arisen when David asks her to connect her mind to his. The reason is that the images she sees, pulled out of his brain, are strictly sexual and involves a previous session with Jordan (Amber Marie Bollinger), an expedient tech expert who had joined them. The two sagacious friends, amidst renouncements and misfortunes, are lead to a stupendous opportunity in a governmental organization called Darkbird II, which is narrowly controlled by the austere, Matthews (Steve Hanks). The tempting high salary paid by the organization makes the aspiring Ryan, who couldn’t even afford his grandmother’s casket, to forget morals, ethics, and privacy, aspects that David is not willing to be deprived of. “Listening”, which was no more than rudimentary in its presentation and no less than feisty in terms of plot, was able to infuse a flickering tension that wasn’t enough to secure it tightly. Eminently perceptible in its looks, was the mutable saturated color tones used to represent the exterior (yellow), home (blue), garage (green), and the Darkbird premises (white).