The White Chamber is a well-intentioned and successful piece of dystopian fiction that is much. It is a hard and real look at the efforts that the government will make to put down civil wars and regain control of people who dare to confront the growing injustices imposed on them by the hands of a broken government. I have thought for a long time that the true path to torture is to force myself to see my loved ones suffer, and Rashid is testing this theory.
This gives us Shauna Macdonald’s memorable descent from a lowly official in the repressive British government of the near future. It turns out that it was too soon for them, but without fear of troublemakers, we are flashed back to see that her position has been reversed and she is now a prominent official figure, and we are led to believe that everything is wrapped up in a cynical “meet the new boss” note.
Shauna MacDonald, also memorable in The Descent as a seemingly inferior functionary in a repressive British government in the near future, does a great job contrasting the role of a Mengelesque researcher conducting human experiments on shady government victims. The film opens with Shauna MacDonald as Ruth, trapped in a bright white cuboid with no escape. An invisible tormentor with a booming, sexless voice commands her to do various things to which she obeys.
The woman wakes up in the front area and has no idea how she got there or what her captors want. It is at the centre of the first half of the film, as it shares screen time with the voice over the intercom and shows a wide range of emotions throughout the entire situation. The audience, whether she is Ruth or the admin girl, has no idea what is happening to her, but she is afraid and wants to make peace with her kidnapper and go home.
Dr. Edgar Chrysler (Nicholas Farrell), Sandra (Sharon Maughan), a young woman (Ruth Amrita Acharia), the head of a secret experiment in which they test different drugs on living subjects in a white chamber, and Dr. Elena Chrysler (MacDonald), Edgar’s daughter. Ruth is there to help with the project. She does not know what the experiment is or who the leaders of the project are, and Elena gives her short questions and tells her that she only has to follow orders.
Zakarian, the head of UKLA, an opposition group to the British government, says they are showing great resolve and that the White House is designed to break that resolve. Zakarian has trapped Chrysler and is determined to find out what Chrysler knows about plans to use the White House for his own benefit. Ironically, Chrysler has done all it can to convince Zakarian that they are not what they are.
When Ruth, our tour guide for Chrysler and the world we observe, tells him that the outside world needs to know about the atrocities at Chrysler and not participate in them, he comes unmoved and stabs them. White Chamber is the kind of film that strengthens the cynic in me and makes me believe that not only what you know but who you know can help you in life. A goddamn project like this is not on Netflix, but positive proof that cronyism is alive and well in the film industry.
It’s Paul Rashid’s latest film, White Chamber, a strange but riveting film that flirts with different things in every genre but doesn’t have what it takes to go all the way. This is a film that an independent company could have produced in the early 2000s, but didn’t have the millions to pay a subscription fee.
We open in the eponymous White Chamber, where a woman named Ruth (Shauna MacDonald, an administrative clerk) wakes up confused. A disembodied mechanical voice greets her, hands her a candy bar and probes her with questions.
White Chamber is a thriller about a woman who wakes up in a white cell after being captured and tortured for information in 2019. It is a clever sci-fi film by writer-director Paul Rashid, who confines most of the plot to a closed, closed space and manages to create a tense atmosphere full of twists and drama. After the first events of the film, it seems as if the action is limited to this small space and creates a claustrophobic atmosphere similar to that of films such as The Cube (1997).
The first part of the film develops at a considerable pace, but one begins to worry that this arrogance will not last long, as things move in different and unexpected directions at lightning speed, especially given the work White Chamber has done so far. It would be a shame to reveal more about what the White House is storing in the US and the limited resources it cannot hold. The original purpose of teetering the chamber in the first 20 minutes of the film is to focus on Ruth (Amrita Acharia), who is imprisoned for torture and interrogation in the chamber.
On 21 May the White Chamber is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Dark Sky Films and is set in a bleak Britain shattered by violence, racism and violent dissension in the near future. Written and filmed by Paul Rashid (Unhollowed Ground, 2015) and Winterstoke House (2016), the film manages to unite a seemingly small world in a larger universe of ideas and beliefs in a way that makes it impossible to look the other way. The towering views of lush green fields are swamped by violent protests, burning buildings and a population overflowing with dissent.