Do you remember Dolly? Not Dolly Levi from “Hello Dolly”; but darling Dolly, the sheep, born July 5th, 1996, the first mammal to be cloned from “an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer”. Scientists Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and their colleagues at the Rosin Institute outside of Edinburgh, Scotland used a cell from a mammary gland and chose the name in reference to the country western singer Dolly Parton, whose pneumatic endowments are universally revered and respected.
Dolly’s sheltered environment; her pallet never savored the culinary delicacies of the Scottish countryside, imprisoned in an experimental lab, where she had six children, but regretfully was euthanized February 14th, 2003, debilitated by severe lung disease and arthritis; a bleak, depressing and morbid Valentines Day!
The concept of cloning is magnetic, powerful, and science has made colossal strides in embryo (therapeutic) and reproductive cloning. Hence the movie “Splice” has a chilling sense of reality and prophesy in its thesis.
Adrien Brody (Clive) and Sarah Polley (Elsa) are biotechnicians who splice human DNA into a preexisting genetic experiment. Dren (Delphine Chaneac) is the child of their illegal project; a female centaur, half- human half- beast. The bewitchment in the film grows from the potent bond between the “parents” and the child; the accelerated rate of her development; rapidly erasing the boundaries, hierarchies, prevalent in uncloned relationships. The three principals are credible and the special affects are a digital dream; but the viewer must take a leap of faith and suspend, overlook the incredulous, and contemplate the “what ifs”! Escape can be deliriously rejuvenating.
Do you remember the film “Multiplicity”? Serendipitously released in 1996, the year of Dolly’s birth, starring Michael Keaton whose problems are initially solved then multiply explosively with each new persona. There is a greed, a gluttonous craving for life, feeding the fascination of cloning; being in two places simultaneously: the party and the lecture, the opera and the hockey game, Mumbai and Paris. Oh the hypnotic glory of this craved (and maybe depraved) fantasy.
“Splice” will appeal to those who mourned the death of Dolly; but will not exalt in the life of Dren!
TWO &1/2 STARS!!