PARADISE (2023) on Netflix is a new German sci-fi thriller with a fascinating plot. The beginning and ending of this movie work really well. The middle is a bit weaker, unfortunately. Read our full Paradise movie review here!
PARADISE (2023) is a new Netflix sci-fi thriller from Germany. Fans of the Netflix series DARK will know that the German Netflix productions within this genre can be very strong. For this movie, the middle part is too weak and predictable, while both the entire opening and final moments of it work remarkably well.
Despite the generic title, this movie truly does offer up a fascinating plot that makes for a thrilling movie. One that makes you think and even forces the viewer to try and relate; What would you do if given the choice?
Continue reading our Paradise movie review below. Find it on Netflix from July 27, 2023.
Loved the beginning
From the beginning of Paradise, I absolutely loved the premise; Trade years of your life for money!
We’re in Berlin, in the not-too-distant future, where a method of transferring years of your life from one person to another has changed aging completely.
Well, for those who can afford the procedure and have a match willing to donate years. If they donate years of their life, they are compensated rather generously. However, these DNA matches also tend to be found within communities where people are already in dire need of money.
The biotech start-up AEON is a billion-dollar pharmaceutical company at the forefront of this technology, but the CEO has yet to find her own DNA match. As a rule, you can no longer look at someone and know how old they are.
Someone can be 18 years old (the age when one can start donating years), but look 20 years older because they’ve donated two decades to afford the life of their dreams. Another may look 25, but really be 60 years old and have simply received (or bought) extra years from their match.
Age is now “chronological age” or your practical age based on whether you’ve given or received years.
It truly is a brilliant setting and right off the bat, there’s a focus on both the good and the bad. Or rather, the possibilities for humans and the danger in how humans can misuse this new technology.
A very character-driven story
For Paradise to really work, we need to see this new biotech “gift” in effect. Also, we need to be able to relate to the people involved with either donating or receiving years.
Fortunately, that’s exactly what we get when we meet Max (Kostja Ullmann) and Elena (Marlene Tanzcik). The couple lives a mostly perfect life. Unfortunately, they are also very much in debt from having bought their dream home.
After an accident not covered by their insurance happens, they are forced to use their “collateral”.
Much to Max’s surprise, the collateral turns out to be a whopping 40 years of Elena’s life. Obviously, this effectively ruins any chance they have of a future together. Including having a family, which was something they were actively dreaming of and working on (if you know what I mean?!).
As a respected employee of AEON, Max tries everything to get Elena’s lost years back. However, despite the technology being reversible, it quickly becomes apparent that this is very difficult.
Watch Paradise on Netflix!
Boris Kunz is the director of this Netflix sci-fi thriller and he also co-wrote the screenplay with Simon Amberger and Peter Kocyla (8 Days).
While the middle part of this German sci-fi thriller gets a bit too slow (and far too predictable), that opening still had me hooked. Then comes the ending which gets the movie back on track in terms of showing the difficulty of having power and choice.
A very bold and strong ending that even teases the possibility of a sequel. If only the middle part of this movie has been stronger, we would’ve been at a solid 4 out of 5.
Paradise (2023) is on Netflix globally from July 27, 2023.
Director: Boris Kunz
Screenwriters: Simon Amberger, Peter Kocyla, Boris Kunz
Cast: Kostja Ullmann, Iris Berben, Marlene Tanczik, Corinna Kirchhoff, Lisa-Marie Koroll, Alina Levshin, Lorna Ishema, Numan Acar, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen
A man sees the dark side of the time-manipulating biotech company he works for when a crushing debt forces his wife to give up 40 years of her own life.