A Feral World is a family affair through and through. The post-apocalyptic quest narrative is written, directed, produced, and edited by David Liban. Caleb Liban stars as the orphaned boy Sonny, while Ethan Liban has a supporting role as Oscar. Is the movie a project only the family can love? Or does it stand on its own as an engaging adventure?
Sonny (Caleb Liban) is an orphan, eeking out a living by scrounging around for food and computer parts to trade. One day, he happens upon Emma (Danielle Prall) and her dog, Lips. Emma asks Sonny if he has seen her daughter Janey (Vivienne Bersin), but he has not. Sonny and Emma take to each other well, so Sonny joins Emma in her search for Janey.
They take a small detour at Raoul’s (Luke Sorge), a former fling of Emma’s, to help Sonny’s teeth and stock up on supplies. Due to the help of the paranoid but well-meaning teenager Melanie (Bethany Taullie), the duo tracks down Jasper (Timothy McCracken). He is the monster who kidnapped Janey just after the nanobots began destroying everything in their path. While getting into his compound, in which Jasper only has kids working for him, but escaping proves to be a different beast altogether.
“…an orphan, eeking out a living by scrounging around for food and computer parts to trade.”
Let me start off by saying that A Feral World as a whole, is an impressive and exciting affair. But, it has a few problems, chief among them is the dialogue. After a long day’s walking, Emma and Sonny stop to camp for the night. Sonny goes off to relieve himself when two bandits walk towards the campfire. Emma is able to shoot one of them in the head, but the other person rushes her and begins to beat her up. Sonny comes back and stabs the robber to death. Looking dazed after such a traumatic event, he tells Emma, “There is blood on my hands.”
It is one thing not to be subtle, and it’s another thing entirely to spoon-feed the audience the meaning of the events they just witnessed. It comes across as if David Liban does not trust his viewers, so he has the character bluntly put the meaning out there. While this is the most extreme example, the dialogue often lacks finesse, with most lines telling the audience directly what to think or believe about a character or situation.