Review by Caitlin Zeigler
Dr. Julian Reed (Waleed Zuaiter) and Dr. Barbara Sullivan (Maria Dizzia) are onto a medical breakthrough, when Dr. Reed’s boss finds the mummified body of a Neanderthal. They figure out how to make a Neanderthal using DNA from the body and Dr. Sullivan to be a surrogate for the baby they’ll make. Dr. Reed sees William (Will Brittain) as a smart being and a test subject, while Dr. Reed sees him as her son. Dr. Reed and Sullivan break up because they treat William differently. She moves William away to live as normal a life as possible and Dr. Reed wants him to go to the college he works at and become this great and fascinating thing to be lauded over. Dr. Reed becomes upset with William when he has trouble with his college exams. Everyone else is getting into their colleges and William can’t pass his exams to get into his college. It’s because William has a different and higher level of intelligence. It also doesn’t help that Dr. Reed and Dr. Sullivan have been planning out his life, instead of asking him what he wants.
This film is good at showing that people are flawed. They always said Neanderthals were stupid cave men and bragged about how they became extinct, but all of the flaws shown are from people treating William terribly. The plot is decent in that it’s kind of shows what could happen to anyone getting treated because of their differences. It shows William living as normal a life as possible and that he knows he wants and needs more in life than what he’s been put through. He just wants basic things like love and compassion. It shows this guy who looks and thinks differently and is feared by people who don’t know him. I like that it shows he knows he should be able to live his life as he chooses, but society still treats him differently. It’s not a bad film to watch, even if the Neanderthal makeup looks a little bit goofy.