We've all thought about the perks and perils of human cloning. This short film by Alex Nakone follows the aftermath of what at first appears to be a successful transplant between a man and a clone created to provide transplant parts to the original person. Much like science fiction movies like Blade Runner, Mr. Morag's Helical Dreams blurs the line between the man and the clone, beginning to touch on the concept of what it means to be human before arriving at the thought-provoking conclusion.
Much of the action in this film takes place in what appears to be the shared subconscious between the man and the clone, a connection presumably forged during the surgical procedure. The two interact with each other within their shared subconscious, which manifests in physical symptoms in the clone. The film is written with very sparse dialogue, preferring to tell the tale with atmosphere and creative cinematography. The narrative moves easily between the physical world and the subconscious world, with the subconscious taking on an increasingly disturbing tone.
The story is an interesting premise, and a thoughtful conclusion; however, I would have preferred to see more time given to develop the process. In particular, I would like to have known more about the man involved, other than the fact that he was married. Of course, this being set in a futuristic setting (likely necessitated by the prevalence of human cloning), both man and clone were given very impersonal names. This may have been done with the intent of the audience keeping its distance from both men, so as to not cheer for either's recovery or demise. The trade-off was that it kept me from getting engaged by the life of either, so I felt no real empathy for either one. Yes, this was a short film, but I have been moved to tears in a matter of minutes before (thank you, Pixar), so I don't use the length of the film as an excuse for this lack of empathy. That said, this film had good structure and an interesting story lurking within. I would very much enjoy seeing a longer exploration of this story in the future.