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James Russo as Kirk Davis in Cerebrum; photo courtesy October Coast.

Cerebrum explores interesting sci-fi question, not brainy enough to find its way

Cerebrum premiered on May 4th 2021 a science fiction movie directed by Arvi Ragu with screenplay by Arvi Ragu and co-writer Gary D. Houk , centers around Tom (Christian James) who  has been estranged from his workaholic father Kirk (James Russo) following his mother’s death years earlier.

Tom returns to his family farm with the promise of money, discovering Kirk and his lab assistant Bhuvanesh (Andy Pisharody) have been working on a technology to cure memory loss by copying human consciousness and “rebooting the brain.”

There are both highs and lows to this film including plot, casting and directorial choices.

The first part of the film really focuses on the status of Tom and Kirks father son relationship, which ends up being one of the core themes in this movie. 


Rating: 1 out of 4.

Info Box

Released: May 4, 2021, Streaming
Rated: unrated
Run Time: Two hours, one minute
Written by: Arvi Ragu, Gary D. Houk
Directed by: Arvi Ragu
Production Companies: Black Velvet Films, Udhills Productions
*check out our review box below.


Tom is not very close with his father after he separated him from his mother during his childhood. 

Tom’s mother, and Kirk’s wife the audience later finds suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, as Kirk’s goal is to find a cure. 

Kirk suffers a fatal heart attack a quarter of the way through the film, putting Tom in charge of continuing his father’s work. 

When Tom figures out how he can upload Kirk’s consciousness into himself to complete the work, he continues to learn about the research his father conducted. 

Acting was sub-par throughout the movie, as none of the cast members had any empathic moments that radiated beyond the fourth wall. 

The shifting of copying human consciousness lost the actors ability to truly connect with the script and character they are playing.

James really was pushed to the spotlight by having to switch between his character Tom and his father Kirk constantly throughout the movie. 

James seems to truly portray his father Kirk with ease and nuance much more than his original character Tom. 

Russo is only in the first part of the film so it was challenging to form an analysis about how he portrayed the character.

From the moments he was on screen he seemed to connect to his character well, the actor who made the best acting choices and really developed her character in the movie was Alexxis Lemire, who played Tom’s childhood friend Zoe. 

Put in the middle of all the research and the reconnecting of Kirk and Tom’s relationship , her acting could be seen and felt through the screen as her character is in a push and pull situation throughout the movie. 

The film making and filming choices in this movie fit the goal of what the plot achieved. 

The first aspect of the film that should be highlighted is the lighting, although sometimes to dark and grim at times, the classic cowboy film saturation fit the science fiction theme quite well . 

The setting in the broken-down barn dimly lit gave the audience a aspect of the movie the audience was searching for, that lacked in acting ability. 

Cerebrum gives audiences the sci fi based story line all sci fi buffs love, but the script and acting portrayal is where the movie fell short. 

The script as well as the acting did not support the plot and ideas of the story line, like it could have. 

 Lemier was the acting standout as Tom’s childhood friend Zoe where the other actors fall short and boring. 

The subject of ideas and memory is what really makes this movie stand out, the fact that memory can be gained or lost or controlled within seconds. 

Cerebrum

5.2

Story

5.0/10

Dialogue

4.0/10

Direction

4.0/10

Acting

5.0/10

Effects

6.0/10

Cinematography

7.0/10

Pros

  • Great idea
  • Some good camera work

Cons

  • Script needs help
  • Acting was...uninspired

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