Upstream Color Review: What the Hell did I Just Watch?

Upstream Color Review: What the Hell did I Just Watch?

The 2013 Sundance Film Upstream Color is a trippy psychedelic experience. It debuted in the U.S. Dramatic Competition and was created by the same director as Primer, Shane Carruth, who is also the lead actor in the film. I imagine myself liking this film exponentially more if was into heavy drug use.

Upstream Color is about a couple who have each been abducted in the past and hypnotized with the help of a “living drug” that was extracted from a plant. Each individual is broken in their own regard and both are trying to pick up the pieces.

Upstream Color Movie ShotAwesome Things about the Film

What Carruth really perfected since his first film debut, Primer, was the art of telling a story with very little or confusing dialog.

Upstream Color was a film that made the audience crave what was coming next while still keeping them in the present. As the mystery began unfolding itself, I found myself transitioning from thoughts of, “what the fuck?” to being utterly impressed with the film maker’s ability to tie up loose ends.

Not No Awesome Things about the Film

The story of Upstream Color is intriguing, however, the character development and execution of the plot was difficult to follow.

I never felt as if I could connect with either of the main characters. I understand how their life fell apart after the hypnosis, but I could never get a grip on why it was so difficult for them to put it back together. Also, their weird interactions at the beginning of the relationship made me less inclined to believe their love for one another.

I didn’t quite know what I was watching until approximately 45 minutes into the show. Things were happening (abduction, hypnosis, aftermath, boy meets girl, developing relationship etc.), but what or who I was cheering for was fairly incomprehensible.


In summary, if you elect to see this film have a nice highly illegal substance as your date, you will certainly like the show a lot more!

Upstream Color Trailer:

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