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‘Guidance’ review: No more lies

Sweet little lies.

Guidance imagines a future where lies have been all but eliminated. It is still possible to try to mislead others in writer-director Neysan Sobhani’s film, but with the aid of nontechnology, it is now easier to detect when someone is not being completely honest. Lies were the cause of The Great War so it only makes sense to try to get rid of the ability to tell one. When a couple goes away on a weekend retreat they decide to use the Guidance pill. They soon realize knowing everything about someone can cause more harm than good.

The idea of technology invading humanity is not a novel one. Interestingly, the film does not try to use its story to differentiate itself. Instead, the entire production is used to give audiences on idea of the literal walls that are being broken down. As important as the visual metaphors are to Guidance, it is the sound design that really stands out. The music adds emotion while normally simple noises are given added meaning.

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Which is not to say that how the film is shot does not matter. Guidance uses a minimalist style that adds to the suspense while showcasing the characters. It is very much a science fiction story, but the focus here is on human nature. The action seamlessly moves between the two stories that are being told. The few set pieces are used to maximum advantage to draw audiences in.

When all is said and done, the idea of living without lies becomes less important. The plot focuses on the interactions people have and how important they are. It is a wonderful bit of storytelling that is charming, frightening, and somehow relatable. Guidance is an intriguing sci-fi flick that is less concerned with the more fantastic possibilities. Its story is a grounded one.

GUIDANCE will be released in the US & worldwide on VOD June 17

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