The Hummingbird Project can be placed in a strange limbo between a thematic indie piece and some bizarre untrue documentary
The strangest thing about The Hummingbird Project is that it isn’t based on a true story. Setting in as a feature with a starkly standardised plot, it seems unlikely that a film of this nature would come as a work of fiction. It would even make more sense if it had been raised from the pages of a modern novel, but with no other work backing it, The Hummingbird Project seems is a particularly odd film. This is naturally enhanced by the nature of Jesse Eisenburg’s acting, and a wonderfully awkward turn from Alexander Skarsgård, in a completely new style of role.
After quitting their jobs at a stock market company, Vincent (Jesse Eisenburg) and Anton (Alexander Skarsgård) take on an entirely unprecedented project. Vincent, an upfront go-getter sets out to buy a straight line of land running from the New York stock market to the Kansas City receptors, filling it with an underground fibre optic cable. By shaving one millisecond off the response time he believes they can make millions, but that means Anton must spend days working out exactly how to remove a big section of the time delay, all whilst hindered and challenged by their former boss Eva (Salma Hayek).
The Hummingbird Project isn’t exactly a pulsating watch, but there’s a level of intricacy to the technicality of the story that goes a long way to giving it at least some power. This then transfers to the real life feeling, acting almost as the false barrier of truth. There’s such brilliant research behind the film it does become real, however that lands the film in the territory of literally being about the installation of a fibre optic cable, leaving it wide open for criticism for its lack of excitement and drama.
All of the more engaging moments feature in the films third act, but basing itself so strongly on such an inane topic these never truly hit home. The Hummingbird Project can be placed in a strange limbo between a thematic indie piece and some bizarre untrue documentary. There are almost no similar features available, but that’s probably for a reason.
Jesse Eisenburg is always a fascinating watch, for whatever reason that particular piece taps into, and Alexander Skarsgård almost makes the film a worthwhile trip alone, but The Hummingbird Project does have a bizarre originality to its proceedings. It’s just very very odd, with an incredibly mundane topic at its core.
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