Ruth is on the run from her past, her powers and to her family to fix what’s broken. It’s a dissolute barren landscape where water is the ultimate commodity and the power that Ruth has puts a target on her back. Fast Color is a quiet film focused on three generations of women (a child on the cusp of girlhood) who have a special ability making them a target of nefarious government operatives.
The film opens with Gugu Mbatha-Raw saying, “The world’s gonna die—I can feel it coming.” It’s a slow methodological build up of an hour and forty minutes exploring women who are far from perfect trying to survive in a dry wasteland in the near future.
It hasn’t rained in eight years and water is a commodity that is more precious than diamonds. Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is running and decides that it’s time to go home. To try to better harness her abilities and to see the daughter she left behind as an addict trying to still the tremors. Bo (Lorraine Toussaint) is the matriarch who is the keeper of secrets raising Lila (Saniyya Sidney) a child that has inherited the ability from her mother, grandmother, great grandmother and is being kept hidden from the world. It had an eerie feeling of genetic mutations that learned long ago to keep the secret ‘us against’ the world but as the world comes to an end desperate government officials will try to harness them even not really understanding what they can do or how it can help.
“A new world is coming,” says Grandma, “this is only the beginning.”
I’m a geek with a weakness for origin stories. I found Fast Color to be an interesting movie that made you think about freedom vs common good and how ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. Gugu puts in a solid portrayal of a woman who selfishness puts her entire family in danger. Toussaint is able to keep her secrets and as an consummate actress can speak volumes with a look at the rebellious Lila. The final scenes where she peels back the layers of the history of the family makes me want to learn more about Fast Color and if they can save the world.
I do love a geeky movie and a film that sparks my curiosity and conversation with other people after the movie is over says so much about Julia Hart and the characters I want to see again. It’s a thoughtful film that meanders like a river that ends at an unexpected waterfall bringing us crashing into a pool.