Watch The Congress
- 2 hr 3 min
The Congress is a science fiction drama film directed by Ari Folman and released in 2013. It stars Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, and Jon Hamm in lead roles. The movie is based on the science fiction novel "The Futurological Congress" by Stanislaw Lem. The movie follows Robin Wright, an aging actress who is struggling to find work in Hollywood due to her reputation for being difficult to work with. In a last-ditch effort to revive her career, she agrees to sell her digital likeness to Miramount Studios, who plan to use her as an AI-driven virtual actress. They scan her entire body, emotions, and memories, providing her with a large sum of money in return. She ceases to be an actress in the traditional sense and becomes a computer construct.
The movie is set in two different timelines. The first timeline portrays Robin Wright in the present day, where she is struggling to keep the only thing that still means something to her â her son, Aaron, who is suffering from a rare disease that is rapidly deteriorating his health. She reluctantly agrees to attend the Futuristic Congress organized by the studio, which requires her to sign a contract that will essentially take away her ability to control her likeness permanently. The Congress is held in an animated and hallucinogenic world, where attendees are given a chemical meant to allow them to fully immerse themselves in the experience.
The second timeline takes place 20 years later, where we see that the world has changed dramatically. The virtual world has become the reality, and the majority of the population now spends their lives in a trippy, drug-induced state. Robin Wright, who has become a pioneer of the virtual world, is invited to give a speech at the Futuristic Congress, which has become a political entity.
The movie explores several themes, including fame, mortality, reality, and loss of control. It raises questions about the power of technology and its effects on humanity, as well as the notion of the self and individuality. One of the themes that stands out in the movie is the idea that technology has the potential to strip us of our humanity, and in the virtual world that it created, everything is possible but nothing is real.
The animation style of the movie beautifully reflects its themes, as the visuals are stunning and imaginative. The Congress is a unique blend of live-action and animated sequences, which creates an immersive, dream-like experience that complements the hallucinogenic tonality of the story.
The performances are exceptional, with Robin Wright giving one of her best performances as she tackles the complex character of herself, highlighting the struggles of the modern-day actress. Her portrayal of the character as an AI-constructed entity is a marvel to watch. Other cast members like Harvey Keitel and Jon Hamm provide steady support, though they are not featured as heavily throughout the story. They serve as prominent figures in the two worlds portrayed in the movie.
Overall, The Congress is a thought-provoking and visually stunning movie that explores the deep questions of humanity in this tech-driven world. The story is character-based and challenges the viewers to reflect on the impact that technology can have on our lives, particularly as we come closer to creating AI-driven constructs that are virtually indistinguishable from humans. Folman's direction, coupled with some incredible visuals and the compelling performance by Wright, make it a film that is definitely worth watching.
The Congress is a 2014 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 3 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 63.