Every year, the East End Film Festival shows some really great stuff. Unfortunately, some of the films don’t always hit the mark. That’s definitely the case with Kristjan Thor’s (Best name ever) second feature film, Astraea.
When a disease nearly wipes out the entire human race, a telepathic young girl named Astraea (Nerea Duhart) has a vision that convinces her there are survivors in Northern Canada. She goes on five thousand mile journey with her half brother (Scotty Crowe) in the snowy wilderness, hoping to rebuild life as she knew it. They stumble across a couple living in Maine, and stay with them, though Astraea yearns to keep exploring, in hopes of finding her family.
The problems with Astraea lie in its story, cast and characterisation. It’s like a teenager getting out of bed in the morning: It knows what it’s supposed to do, but it puts off as long as it can before it absolutely has to. By that I mean that the film moves incredibly slow for the first hour or so and only picks up towards the end, and even then, it doesn’t even feel worth trudging through the first part of the film just for that. It’s only an hour and 38 minutes long, but the pacing really makes it feel much longer. It’s the kind of film where you think “Okay so that’s about ten minutes passed” and then when you look at the timer, it’s only been three. The film generally has a good plot but in its execution it just comes off as very uninteresting and dull (Obviously not helped by the pacing).
If you prefer the technical aspects to the story and character, then Astraea has a lot to offer you, but otherwise, it really falls flat. Perhaps there was much more potential for this film, but as it stands, Astraea is a visually compelling but overall weak feature.